Population Health Unicorn Color Enters Behavioral Health Space with Acquisition of Mood Lifters

Digital Health Unicorn Color is entering the behavioral health space.

It does so with the launch of a new school mental health service and the acquisition of group mental health company Mood Lifters. Terms of the agreement, announced Thursday, were not disclosed.

The new services will enable population health-focused Color to provide public school departments and districts with access to mental health services. The combined offering will include access to mental health screenings and providers, as well as provider billing infrastructure.

“Challenges to behavioral health access stem from a supply shortage that can be solved by reimagining the logistics around health care delivery – something Color has been doing since its founding nine years ago” , Color CEO Othman Laraki said in a statement. “Through our experience creating high-impact federal, state and local programs for population and public health, we know that providing access to care in the context of how people live their daily lives is the key. key to creating effective caregiving programs.”

Going forward, Color customers will also have access to non-clinical group mental health therapy, through the acquisition of Mood Lifters. The peer-focused mental health tool aims to improve symptoms of anxiety and depression in young people.

With health equity in mind, the program is designed to integrate with existing community resources and communicate in multiple languages.

“At Mood Lifters, we have implemented a program that reduces the personal and economic burden of stress, depression and anxiety,” said Dr. Patricia Deldin, co-founder and CEO of Mood Lifters. “Now, with Color, we can realize our shared dream of bringing easily accessible, high-quality, effective, low-cost, evidence-based care to those who really need it, wherever and however they are. be their means.”

Founded in 2013, Color has raised over $378 million in funding. In 2021, the valuation of the company was $4.6 billion.

Additionally, as part of its mission, Color helps public health agencies build digital infrastructure for its programs. In 2019, he was commissioned by the National Institutes of Health to help him run the All of Us program, which collected data from a million or more people in the United States to examine genetics, disease, and prevention.

The company has also worked on several COVID-19 testing and immunization initiatives across the country.

With this launch, Color joins the growing list of digital providers looking to help address youth mental health. For example, Hazel Health, a pediatric mental health provider, landed $50 million to help expand its reach in K-12 schools.

About 20% of adolescents have experienced a major depressive episode and 36.7% of high school students reported feeling sad or hopeless, According to the CDC.

The federal government has begun to invest in school mental health programs. In July, the Biden administration pledged nearly $300 million to help expand mental health services in schools.

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