HC9 presents an interview series with portfolio company leaders.  We’re interested in how they are solving health care’s biggest problems, what drove them to start a company, and why they chose to work with HC9. 

Richard Lungen (Founder and General Partner, HC9 Ventures)

Today we’re chatting with Scott Healy, CEO of Psych Hub.  Scott, thank you for being here today.

When did you become CEO of Psych Hub? And what made you decide to take the role?

Scott Healy (CEO Psych Hub)

I joined Psych Hub in October 2023, about six months ago, and since then I’ve been working closely with Psych Hub’s founding CEO, Marjorie Morrison along with co-founder and former Congressman Patrick Kennedy plus our board, on our plan to aggressively scale the business and to fulfill our mission to improve the mental health care ecosystem.

During that time, we’ve undertaken a deep strategic assessment of several different opportunity areas for the business. There are many relevant applications for Psych Hub’s high-quality content, but we’ve narrowed our focus to the growth paths where we see the largest potential to scale in a differentiated way.

Richard Lungen

What initially got you excited about Psych Hub and as you look ahead, what do you find to be the most exciting part of the future?

Scott Healy

What was exciting to me about Psych Hub was the ecosystem of people around the company from Marjorie, who’s highly respected in the industry as a therapist and thought leader, to Patrick Kennedy, who’s passionately championed the causes of mental health and substance use treatment over the last decade or so. And that also includes our board and our scientific advisory board, which is comprised of the chief medical officers of the country’s leading payer groups.

PsychHub is a company that has built very high-quality mental health training assets split between training for practitioners and literacy resources for consumers, and we’ve surrounded ourselves with incredible industry change agents.

That leads me back to what excited me and attracted me in the first place. PsychHub has a broad range of opportunities and an incredibly strong group of people connected to the company that can help us to get there. We’ve narrowed that down to two core areas where we believe we can have a big impact on the mental health ecosystem and the quality of care available to people.

The first harkens back to the original premise on which Psych Hub was founded and is that most mental health practitioners are trained as generalists when the reality is that there are condition specific approaches to treatment that have been proven to deliver better results.

The second is that consumers really struggle to find qualified and available mental health care options for their specific situations.

We started the company focused on improving the quality of mental health care by educating practitioners on evidence-based practices using high-quality video-based training. We have built up a library of over a thousand videos in support of that objective. We’re currently expanding our focus beyond that to help consumers better navigate the complex process of finding the right mental health care solution for their specific situation.

Richard Lungen

What do you see, looking ahead for Psych Hub?

Scott Healy

We think there’s opportunity in helping consumers get the right form of mental and behavioral  health care for their needs, not just in clinical care and therapy, but also in sub-clinical types of treatment options.

There’s a lot in the media these days about the dramatic shortage of mental health care providers and how hard it is to find a therapist or counselor.  And yet, what we see is that there’s actually a significant overuse of that form of treatment.  There are many alternative options ranging from self-help apps to group-based therapy to other kinds of more scalable solutions that have been proven to be quite effective.

We see an opportunity to help get the word out about the breadth of solutions at the sub-clinical level. While there are many use cases for which therapy and dedicated one-on-one counseling is the best option, there are many options beyond that to which people just aren’t getting exposed enough.

We’re also seeing increasing need for our core training and education services from non-profit behavioral health providers across the country that are reliant on government mental health grants to provide higher quality services to uninsured and underinsured populations. These types of non-profit providers are interested in supplementing their direct client treatment with some of our mental health literacy content as a way of increasing the effectiveness of in-person treatment and bridging the gap when there is a long wait to actually be able to see a therapist.  That’s an exciting area for us as we figure out how to further leverage this really valuable library of content that we have built.

Richard Lungen

One thing that I think is so interesting about being in the health care space is that it’s very personal. It’s going to affect all of us, and I think mental health is something that obviously has come up since the pandemic more in the public sphere than at any other time.

How does being an organization that is focused on mental health get you up out of bed in the mornings?

Scott Healy

One of the main reasons I joined Psych Hub was because I have a history working for mission-driven businesses. Care.com was a company that I helped found that’s now the largest marketplace for non-medical care in the world. It was created to help families find great resources for childcare, senior care, and special needs care, and also to help the care providers in that space have a more sustainable way of making a living. I was there for nearly 15 years and that was my first deep experience in a truly mission driven business. From that experience, I learned that that is super important to me. The number of people in my circles who have struggled with mental health issues and the fact that resources are less developed than in other areas of healthcare is what attracted me to it. I believe that Psych Hub can be a meaningful part of the solution.

Richard Lungen

What did you find of value in HC9 upon becoming CEO?

Scott Healy

HC9 is creating an incredible ecosystem of influencers and decision makers in the healthcare space, including in mental health.

I’ve found in just the six months that I’ve been working with you and others in the firm that you’re amazing at opening doors and facilitating conversations with both individuals and organizations that are having a big impact on our success.

You’re really an amazing partner for any early-stage company in the healthcare space. I’ve worked with many venture funds over the years, and I don’t think I’ve been involved with one that’s been so focused on making valuable introductions, navigating the healthcare market and providing strategic guidance in ways that have a direct, near-term impact on businesses success.

About Psych Hub

Psych Hub is on a mission to empower everyone to create a better approach to mental health for themselves and others. Co-founded by Marjorie Morrison and former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, Psych Hub is the leading provider of mental health education, connection, and engagement solutions. Psych Hub offers the only end-to-end platform that empowers the entire mental health ecosystem — the individuals seeking mental health support, the practitioners delivering it, and the organizations supporting them — with evidence-based education, resources, and connection to specialized care.