Daybreak Health brings therapy to public schools
Daybreak Health, a teletherapy organization that partners with school districts to provide mental health care for youth and adolescents, has secured $13 million in a Series B funding round. The company says it will use the money to expand across the country, in its latest press release.
“Daybreak is committed to partnering with our nation’s school districts to make mental health support accessible to all kids who need it,” Daybreak Health CEO and Co-Founder Alex Alvarado said. “We believe that every child, regardless of their background, should be able to access high-quality, personalized care that’s tailored to their specific needs so they can reach their full potential—in school and at home. Our program data shows that four out of five school counselors report noticeable improvements in student’s symptoms and 92% of families report behavioral improvements at home.”
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy has called nationwide youth mental health decline the “defining public health crisis of our time.” Academic pressure, social isolation, family dynamics, “hustle culture values,” and the negative effects of social media are major contributors to the decline.
The most at-risk teens, such as BIPOC, LGBTQ+, low income, those from rural or immigrant households, and those experiencing housing insecurity are the least likely to get the care they need, which is why Daybreak Health has decided to meet youth and teens where they spend the most time – school.
“Adolescence is where the foundation for one’s lifetime mental health is set, and unfortunately adolescents are experiencing more mental health issues than ever before — yet, most existing solutions focus on treating mental health in adults,” said Deena Shakir, General Partner at Lux Capital, one of leading funders behind Daybreak Health. “Daybreak’s partnerships with leading health plans across the country bolster school districts’ capacity to make youth mental health programs more accessible and affordable for students and families of all socioeconomic backgrounds.”
Daybreak Health matches mental health clinicians to students based on their personal preferences, needs, cultural background, and language. Together, they work through Daybreak Health’s set programs designed to support young peoples’ unique needs. In the 2022-2023 academic year, 81% of students who participated in Daybreak’s program demonstrated noticeable improvements in symptoms and behavior.
By bringing teletherapy to schools, Daybreak Health hopes to close the mental healthcare gap facing the country. The American Psychological Association estimates there is 1 school psychologist per 1211 students, a ratio that is far beyond their recommendation of 1 school psychologist to 500 students.
Moving beyond the gap, Daybreak Health also offers mental health services to staff, parents, and families in its partner districts and gives them tools to proactively identify students who could benefit from mental health support.
“Daybreak is solving a critical crisis facing our nation’s youth and families,” said Rebecca Kaden, Managing Partner at Union Square Ventures, another leading funder behind Daybreak Health. “We not only believe in Daybreak’s mission, but also its long-term vision of serving as an extension of our schools’ mental health infrastructure to make lasting, positive change for this generation. The Daybreak team is leading the way in leveraging existing school infrastructure to reach kids through the right channels and at the right moment to maximize impact. The team’s combination of expertise from education, healthcare, and technology ecosystems, as well as their speed and deep empathy, sets them apart and the progress they are making in the market reflects the impact of their approach.”