Toronto-based healthtech startup Felix Health has announced the launch of a new virtual mental health service, as it looks to make mental health treatment more accessible and help to reduce the stigma and inconvenience associated with accessing it.
Through the service, Felix initially plans to provide prescription renewals and delivery for drugs related to conditions like anxiety and depression. In the coming months, the startup intends to expand the service to offer “a more holistic approach to mental health,” including by adding access to psychotherapy.
Felix referred to mental health as a “long-term target for expansion.”
Felix said the launch of this integration comes “amid overwhelming customer demand” for mental health services during COVID-19. The startup said rising mental health challenges have been directly reflected by requests from its users.
The move comes a few months after Felix secured $10 million CAD in Series A financing led by Whitecap Ventures. To date, Felix has raised a total of $13.3 million CAD.
Founded in 2019, Felix offers online doctor access and prescription delivery through its end-to-end telehealth treatment service. Felix focuses on common, but often stigmatized, ailments and health needs, such as birth control, erectile dysfunction, hair loss, acne, migraines, cold sores and herpes, and has plans to further expand its offering this year.
Felix referred to mental health as a “long-term target for expansion.” Kyle Zien, Felix’s co-founder and CEO, said the startup’s user base “has been clear on their number one priority for a new Felix service,” adding that “with so many Canadians reporting increased mental health difficulties related to COVID, this service is more important now than ever.”
Zien added that the startup felt it had “a duty to do what [it] could to make treatment more accessible, particularly for those put off by the stigma of seeking mental health treatment.” The launch comes during May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States.
Rob McMaster, psychiatrist and Felix advisor, said the integration will complement the current mental health system. “As the service evolves, these innovations will help Canadians access the treatment they need easier, faster, and with the fewest possible barriers,” said McMaster.
According to Felix, the startup grew its customer base eight-fold during the pandemic, capitalizing on rising demand for telehealth solutions amid COVID-19.
“COVID accelerated the interest in giving virtual healthcare a try for people that were either on the fence or maybe hadn’t done it before,” Zien told BetaKit.
Photo courtesy of Felix Health