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Wave Life Secures $6M Investment to Increase Mental Health Access For Gen Z

Wave Life, the science-backed mental health platform aimed at supporting Gen Z, announced the completion of a $6 million seed investment led by Santé Ventures. Additional investment comes from Hannah Grey, Joyance Capital, Gaingels, and Telocity Ventures. The newly raised capital will allow Wave Life to refine their product offering and expand further into the employer space, where mental health has become pivotal for employee satisfaction and retention. Wave Life makes managing mental health more personal, less tedious, and more effective for Gen Z. The platform provides users with accessible emotional wellbeing coaching and science-backed techniques to help them survive and thrive both in and out of the workplace. The company’s innovative approach to mental health prioritizes the unique needs and experiences of this younger generation, supporting them as they build a solid foundation for their sustained mental health.

Gen Z, born between 1997 and 2012, is the youngest working generation and is expected to comprise 30% of the workforce by 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Recent reports indicate that Gen Z adults are the most stressed generation. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated existing issues such as remote work arrangements, job insecurity, the impact of social media, and geopolitical events. This has led to staggeringly high levels of depression, anxiety, and stress, with 42% of this generation having received a mental health diagnosis. Furthermore, 91% of Gen Z have reported experiencing at least one physical or emotional symptom related to poor mental health. These factors have a profound impact on both personal and professional lives, making it vital for employers to prioritize the mental health and wellbeing of their Gen Z employees to retain talent, foster a healthy workplace culture, and provide a better work-life balance.

“We understand that the major challenges Gen Z faces when it comes to mental health are the lack of access to high-quality licensed therapists and a lack of interest in traditional therapy. Many young adults, especially those who come from underrepresented backgrounds are disengaged and disappointed with their healthcare options and are seeking alternative solutions that are more relatable and convenient. But they don’t want to sacrifice science-backed care,” said Sarah Adler, Founder/CEO of Wave Life and Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University. “We designed Wave Life to bridge this gap, providing a platform for personalized plans and on-demand coaching sessions accessible on the phone.”

Wave Life is a mental health platform that utilizes the latest in brain science, technology, and human connection to make emotional wellbeing accessible and affordable for everyone. Gen Z is signaling that therapy is not for everyone — either it is unaffordable to find high-quality care or it isn’t in line with a generation that wants personalized, easy access. Wave’s National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coaches provide convenient on-demand coaching and support. Additionally, the Wave app provides ongoing measurement that encourages introspection and vulnerability, helping users to understand themselves better. The app features personalized interactive content that helps users understand the science and psychology behind their actions and feelings, along with science-backed quizzes to determine emotional strengths and identify areas that need attention. For employers, this multi-tiered, stepped-care approach can help their employees learn skills that lead to better communication, engagement, and an increased sense of belonging in the workplace, resulting in more satisfied workers.

With recent reports indicating that 40% of Gen Z employees are opting to leave their current job situations, CEOs and HR professionals need support with retention tactics. “Gen Z has a distinct perspective on the importance of emotional wellbeing and considers it an integral aspect of their overall health. They evaluate companies on their level of commitment to employee mental health. Our customers have reported that the Wave benefit has assisted them in attracting potential employees,” said Dr. Adler.

“We are thrilled to support Wave Life in providing a differentiated, science-backed platform that caters to the needs of Gen Z in the workplace. Sarah Adler and the Wave Life team are uniquely suited to address the mental health challenges faced by this demographic, who are not well-served in the market despite the tremendous demand for mental healthcare,” said Eric Epstein, Principal at Santé Ventures. “Wave Life has the potential to transform the way we approach mental health by increasing access and engagement, solving the significant supply/demand issues in mental healthcare delivery, and providing a measurement-based and clinically-validated platform. We are beyond excited to be a part of that positive change.”


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