Access to mental health services wasn’t great before the pandemic. Then two things happened: the need for mental health services increased. But so has access to telemedicine providers of mental health support.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) enabled flexibilities regarding the prescription of controlled medications. In 2020, the Food and Drug Administration announced a pandemic enforcement policy allowing mental health app developers to release certain treatment products without seeking authorization from the agency.
Cerebral is a US online therapy provider, founded in 2019. In 2021, the company raised close to half a billion dollars and was valued at 4.8 billions USD. Even Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, who withdraw from the Olympic games in Tokyo in 2020 due to personal mental health struggles, and became a public advocate for a new attitude and public perception of how we approach mental health, struck a partnership with Cerebral, joining as an investor and its chief impact officer.
But then in 2022, things started to shift in the opposite direction, due to allegations of unsafe prescribing practices. The Wall Street Journal, Insider, and other media publications investigated and reported about these through the accounts of patients and former employees, and the Department of Justice launched an investigation about “possible violations” of the Controlled Substances Act. Eventually, in 2022, the company dropped prescribing of Controlled Substance Prescriptions entirely.
Today Cerebral is moving forward and is betting on quality mental health provision, with high hopes around enhancements that could be achieved with the help of AI. In today’s discussion, you will hear from Cerebral’s CEO David Mou, talk about:
- The current state of telemedicine, and the changing legislation about required in-person visits for prescriptions,
- Speed and quality of mental health diagnosis and treatment through telemedicine,
- The role of AI in mental health
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