There’s Mental Health in Them Thar Workers

in Uncategorized, Wellbeing, Workplace Mental Health Resources

woman with gold face

In the red-hot employee mental health industry, two of the reddest, hottest companies — Ginger and Headspace — announced their merger. As reported by Stat:

The new company, called Headspace Health, will have a reported value of $3 billion, placing it in the top echelon of companies vying to own significant chunks of the mental health market….Headspace, which sells directly to consumers as well as to businesses, is focused on self-directed meditation and mindfulness…Ginger also offers self-guided treatment in addition to text-based coaching and video-based therapy and psychiatry.

Oliver Harrison, CEO of digital mental health competitor Koa Health, magnanimously blogged that the merger represents “a tremendous moment signaling the growing market demand, innovation and transformation for digital mental health and wellbeing.”

This might be true, but we might also conclude that this is a moment in which two unrelenting enterprises join forces to, as Stat said, “own chunks of the market.”

Innovation? Later in the post, Harrison quotes HR expert Josh Bersin:

“Bigger companies with thousands of customers try to innovate, but the demands of their large, existing customers distract their engineering teams and they can rarely innovate like they did when they were small.”

A colleague recently described employee mental health as a modern day gold rush, with money gushing into it from exuberant employers — clawing for precious solutions, while surrounded by barkers hawking unauthenticated replicas — and venture capitalist prospectors jumping aboard the gravy train.

Tremendous Moment? Or Wild West?

Headspace and Ginger are joining hands as they stake their claim in the mental health landscape. Good for them. We can only hope it also turns out to be good for care seekers, employers, and mental health in general.

In other news, in-person therapy is now available at Walmart. Find it somewhere between the ammo, tobacco products, and baby strollers.


“Gold face” image courtesy John Vasilopoulos via Pixabay.com, https://pixabay.com/users/sjv_john-9645453/

Teladoc and Livongo Merge

in business, Uncategorized

Merge Ahead signToday’s big news in the employee health industry is the merger of telemedicine company Teladoc Health and virtual disease management company Livongo. Both have been high flyers in 2020, with their revenues and their stock prices (Livongo just celebrated the one-year anniversary of its IPO and has been a Wall Street darling since then) skyrocketing. Each of the two  companies stock prices are up by more than 100% year-to-date.

Telemedicine has been all the rage among employee benefits directors for at least five years, but utilization remained lackluster until this year, when the COVID-19 pandemic radically accelerated consumer uptake.

Benefits of the merger include “joining two leaders in consumer behavior change,” according to a joint news release.

Speaking of behavior change, both companies’ stocks made it onto the markets’ Biggest Loser list on the day of the merger announcement, with Teladoc down 19% and Livongo off by 11%  —  the second and fourth biggest losers for the day, respectively.

Teladoc Health reaches agreement to buy Livongo in a $18.5 billion deal