Lyra targets child mental health crisis

  • September 26, 2022
  • William Payne

Workplace mental health specialist Lyra Health is bringing together evidence-based therapy and digital content within a technology-enabled model to address a mental health crisis in children and young people. The company is employing digital healthcare, wellness tools, intelligent matching software, and evidence based technologies as part of an expansion of whole family support to address growing childhood mental health issues.

One in five children now suffer from mental, emotional or behavioural health disorders according to the US Government Centres for Disease Control (CDC). The Covid-19 pandemic doubled the incidence of depression and anxiety symptoms among children and teens. The pandemic also increased mental health issues among parents and care-givers, with 70 percent reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression, stress disorders, or suicidal ideation.

“Traditional approaches to childhood mental health care have failed our kids, as well as their parents and caregivers,” said Dr. Connie Chen, chief operating officer, Lyra Health. “It has been extraordinarily difficult for families to find specialists practising evidence-based care, and parents are left poorly supported when coping with these difficult and complex family situations.”

To combat this new mental health environment, Lyra is attempting to develop new approaches to mental health, including transforming access to mental health care for children and teens. This includes creating enhanced therapy for teens, which involves combining a network of evidence based therapists, using the company’s technology platform to increase therapy effectiveness, together with digital content created expressly for adolescents. Lyra says that peer-reviewed research shows that its model helps people improve their mental health conditions more quickly than traditional approaches.

The company is also providing access to more than 3,900 specialised providers for children 0-17 in the US. The company is continuing to expand its network of evidence-based providers, and the company provides a unified platform for therapy and medication management treatment options for children and teens aged 0-17.

It is also expanding coaching programmes for parents and caregivers, designed to provide guidance, teach new skills, and address common parenting challenges such as tantrums and bullying. It has also developed a personalised care navigation programme for autism, which includes providing parents and care-givers with one to one support to connect with providers specialising in Autism Spectrum Disorder.

“Since Lyra’s inception, child and adolescent mental health has been a critical area of focus, as demonstrated by the depth of our specialised provider network and care programmes,” said Dr. Chen.  “Our clinical team continues to research and develop new services to support young people and their families through evidence-based care and engaging apps and content.”