Overlooked Ventures invests in The Difference, the first on-demand therapy service for corporations and communities.

When it comes to health care coverage, mental health care isn’t at the top of the list. While many insurers claim to cover mental health services, it’s often inadequate. despite the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, Affordable Care Act requiring most insurers to offer health care plans that provide mental and physical health benefits equally, individuals are struggling to find and receive sufficient health care. The lack of health care providers in-network and restrictive standards are creating barriers for the section of the population seeking mental health care services.

1 in 5 U.S. adults has experienced a mental health issue, but access to care is still limited. And on top of the hurdles mentioned above, 112 million Americans are living in areas where mental health care is in short supply.

The pandemic accelerated the availability of telehealth and online therapy as in-person therapy wasn’t an option. While this solves some of the issues, it doesn’t mean mental health care is completely accessible or affordable for everyone. Many individuals who do not qualify for mental health care or can’t find it in network are left to pay out of pocket, which is expensive and unaffordable for most.

When you look at all of these factors, it’s clear something has to change. Even with platforms like TalkSpace and BetterHelp, which are more affordable than traditional mental health care services, mental health care coverage still relies on insurance providers.

The Difference is disrupting the mental health care industry by directly partnering with organizations and co-working spaces to provide an on-demand network of service providers that is more accessible, equitable, and effective than the current insurance-based marketplace.

Overlooked Ventures is excited to announce our investment in The Difference; the first on-demand therapy service for corporations and communities.

Both independent workers and employees can access same-day therapy 24/7. Independent workers such as startup founders, freelancers, and gig-economy workers will access therapy from The Difference as an extended benefit through a co-working space or community. W-2 employees who receive benefits from their employer can opt into mental benefits from The Difference at Open Enrollment like they do with other benefits. In addition, The Difference requires no minimum cost/contract for patients.

The Difference doesn’t just serve patients, it also prioritizes the careers and well-being of its therapists. Many want to earn a living as independent licensed mental health counselors (LMHC), but don’t know how to or want to manage the admin side of their business and cannot support themselves on an irregular salary. The Difference solves this problem by allowing therapists to have a private practice that works outside the platform.

r Before she was a founder, Bea was a domestic violence counselor. Her student loans were twice as much as her yearly salary, so she started her first company out of necessity to create more earning potential than a social worker could afford her. She has been an entrepreneur for ten years now, but even before that, was always in client-facing roles such as real estate and personal training. Her strength is connecting with people. Her mom even says that she is a Professional People Person.

Bea was also inspired to start The Difference because she felt limited by the mental health industry. She’s not one to accept things as they are, so she took it upon herself to shake things up. Now, Bea is creating the world she wants to live in! As she’s been able to hire more employees to help with the workload, Bea has been unlearning hustle culture and reconnecting with her hobbies and interests like traveling, boxing, cooking, kicking it with friends, and cannabis.

Bea found out about Overlooked Ventures after following Janine and Brandon on Twitter. In her words, “they were lit!”. After making the investment, the Overlooked team got a chance to party with Bea in person and her energy lit up the whole room.

We couldn’t be happier to have Bea and The Difference be a part of our portfolio as they disrupt the mental benefits industry for the better.

Learn more about The Difference, request a demo for your organization, or apply to become a therapist with them on their website!

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Janine Sickmeyer

Janine Sickmeyer

Founding Partner at Overlooked Ventures