Thursday December 7, 2023

More Stars Investing In Mental Health

  • Megan Rapinoe, Kevin Love, and Michael Phelps have all raised money and awareness for mental health startups.
  • Mental health startups brought in $932 million in venture capital in 2020.
Olympian Michael Phelps is open about his mental health.
William Glasheen, USA TODAY NETWORK/Design: Alex Brooks
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Many athletes put money into health and fitness startups, and several others have invested in a different area of wellness: mental health.

While wellness startups attracted less VC investment overall in the first half of 2020, mental health startups brought in $932 million, more than the previous three years combined. 

Earlier this month, U.S. Women’s National Team star Megan Rapinoe and Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks were part of a $10 million Series A round for mental health care startup Real. Real provides therapy, events, and mental health tracking for a monthly subscription.

Rapinoe, who is also an advisor to the company, praised Real for making mental health services more accessible when they can often be challenging to find.

Decorated Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps has been vocal about his ongoing mental health battles, including substance abuse, depression, and suicidal thoughts. He explored his challenges in the HBO documentary “The Weight of Gold,” which he narrated and co-produced. 

Phelps is now a spokesperson for the talk therapy app Talkspace and a board member for Medibio, a company that diagnoses depression and other mental health issues.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love is also making an effort to fight stigmas against talking about mental health publicly. 

Love, who experienced a panic attack during a game in 2017, has been vocal about his challenges and invested in a seed round for Coa, a “mental health fitness” company.

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