Amid greater recognition that minority and marginalized populations have specific mental health issues that require cultural understanding, digital mental health provider Headspace Health announced Thursday that it has acquired an app that aims to be inclusive by providing mental health support to all.
The Shine app, created by a black woman and a half-Japanese woman, has more than 45,000 paying subscribers and more than 90 corporate customers. New York-based Shine has reached more than 6 million people by offering self-guided content — which includes daily meditations, self-care classes and personalized support — as well as virtual workshops led by third-party experts.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Headspace Health executives said that with Shine Particularly committed to serving members of marginalized communities, this acquisition will help Headspace Health advance its diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) efforts.
“By acquiring Shine now, we believe we can significantly advance our DEIB efforts by bringing in an experienced team that has delivered similar work for the past six years and aligns with our vision, mission and values at Headspace Health”, said Head space Healthcare CEO, Russ Glass.
Through this agreement, Santa Monica, Calif.-based Headspace Health will integrate Shine’s team, technology and curated content into its platform, which provides mindfulness and meditation tools, therapy, coaching, psychiatry and other resources.
Marah Lidey and Naomi Hirabayashi, co-founders and co-CEOs of Shine, will both assume leadership roles at Headspace Health. Lidey will take a product leadership position and Hirabayashi will join the marketing team.
The two founded the company in 2016 because of a problem they encountered: they felt that their bodies, skin color, financial resources and past experiences were not understood by medical professionals. mental blanks or other mental health apps.
“We have felt (and still believe) that it is essential to ensure that our experiences – the experiences of [people of color] — are better represented in the mental health and wellness space and more representative of our national population,” Hirabayashi said.
Joining Headspace Health allows Shine to continue its health equity mission, but on a larger scale, Lidey said.
“We believe we can better accomplish our mission — to disrupt the traditional world of mental health and wellness with more inclusive support — with the scale and brand recognition of Headspace Health,” Lidey said. “As a combined organization, we will be able to share our tailored content for underrepresented communities with a wider [Black, Indigenous and people of color] community.”
While customers may not see a major change immediately, Glass expects the deal to result in improved service over time, he said.
“Long term, Ginger and Headspace members and customers can expect an improved member experience, including more member-inclusive content and improved automation within our products,” he said. .
Last year, Headspace Health acquired Ginger, an AI-powered tool that offers text-based coaching and teletherapy visits for $3 billion.
Photo: PeterPencil, Getty Images