Ginger and Headspace Will Merge to Meet Escalating Global Demand for Mental Health Support

  • Headspace Health will offer the world’s most accessible, comprehensive digital mental health platform.
  • The combined entity will reach nearly 100 million lives across 190+ countries through direct-to-consumer business and 2,700+ enterprise and health plan partners around the globe.

Headspace, a global leader in mindfulness and meditation, and Ginger, a leader in on-demand mental healthcare,  announced they have entered into a definitive agreement to merge. The combined entity, Headspace Health, will offer the world’s most accessible and comprehensive digital mental health and wellbeing platform. By coming together at a critical moment of global need, Headspace Health will democratize mental healthcare to provide the full spectrum of affordable and comprehensive support for everyone.

@carebyginger and @Headspace will merge to meet escalating global demand for mental health support. The combined entity, called Headspace Health, will be the world’s most accessible, comprehensive digital mental health platform.

According to the World Health Organization, close to 1 billion people worldwide live with a mental disorder, and more than 75% of people worldwide with mental, neurological, and substance use disorders receive no treatment for their condition at all. In a recent study, nearly half of adults in the U.S. reported symptoms of depression or anxiety during the pandemic. In the workplace, both employees and their employers pay the price: Research from the American Psychiatric Association shows that employees with unresolved depression experience a 35% reduction in productivity, resulting in a $210 billion annual economic loss in the U.S. due to absenteeism, reduced productivity, and medical costs.

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“We are witnessing a mental health crisis unlike anything we’ve experienced in our lifetimes, yet the majority of mental healthcare today is neither broadly accessible nor affordable,” said CeCe Morken, CEO of Headspace. “Together, as Headspace Health, we will address the systemic challenges of access and affordability in a fundamentally different way by creating the world’s most holistic, scalable, and effective mental health and wellbeing company.”

Headspace, founded in 2010 by Andy Puddicombe and Richard Pierson, is known for being one of the first meditation apps in the world and remains a leader in mindfulness and mental training. Founded in 2010 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) by Karan Singh, co-founder and chief operating officer, Ginger offers its members convenient, high-quality mental healthcare – including behavioral health coaching, therapy, and psychiatry – right from a smartphone. Together as Headspace Health, the two companies will serve consumers, employers, and health plans. Their combined expertise in consumer brand, evidence-based interventions, and technology will help improve resilience, reduce stress, and provide treatment to the millions of people experiencing mental health symptoms, from anxiety to depression to more complex diagnoses.

Since their beginnings, Headspace and Ginger have relied on research and evidence to drive the development of their products and services to deliver tools and interventions rooted in behavioral science.

  • In 25+ studies published in leading mindfulness peer-reviewed journals, Headspace has been shown to produce favorable outcomes of interventions, including reduced stress, improved focus, increased resilience, and reduced burnout. A randomized controlled trial showed that people who engaged in mindfulness meditation through Headspace daily for 30 days reported reducing their stress levels by a third.1
  • A published study conducted at Google and Roche showed that eight weeks of Headspace resulted in a 31% decrease in anxiety symptoms and a 46% decrease in depressive symptoms among healthy adults.
  • Ginger’s on-demand, team-based care model, which includes behavioral health coaching, therapy, and psychiatry, has been shown to produce an average of 59% improvement in anxiety and 70% improvement in depression.
  • Ginger has built one of the world’s largest mental health data sets through its Mood Matters study, having conducted research with eight of the top 10 academic medical centers in the U.S. and over 40 medical institutions nationwide. This data, combined with Ginger’s internal studies and data-driven quality assurance program, help Ginger to continually improve the high standard of care they deliver, at scale.

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Both companies have created brand experiences that people love, earning the trust, respect, and loyalty of their members to bring them the mental health support that they need.

  • Headspace was recognized as one of Fast Company’s 10 Most Innovative Social Good Companies of 2021, Ad Age’s America’s Hottest Brands of 2020, and TIME100’s Most Influential Companies of 2021.
  • The Headspace app consistently ranks in the top five health & fitness apps in the Apple App Store.
  • On average, Ginger members rate their coaching, therapy, and psychiatry sessions 4.7/5.0 stars.
  • Some of the world’s most admired companies trust Ginger and Headspace to care for their employees.
    • ViacomCBS, Delta Air Lines, Sephora, and nearly 700 other leading employers rely on Ginger to provide on-demand mental healthcare to their employees.
    • Starbucks, Adobe, Hyatt, and Unilever are some of more than 2,100 employers that trust Headspace to provide mindfulness and mental training to their employees through Headspace for Work.

Upon merging, the combined company will use technology to scale affordable, accessible care to people around the world, reaching nearly 100 million lives across all 50 U.S. states and in 190+ countries worldwide.

  • Using technology, Ginger provides people with the fastest access to care right from a smartphone. Ginger members can chat via text with a coach live, 24/7, 365 days a year. If needed, members can secure a video session with a therapist or psychiatrist more quickly than most in-person appointments.
  • Powered by AI and data science, Ginger’s care team utilizes a system that analyzes chat transcripts, clinical assessments, member satisfaction, engagement data, and more to help them provide personalized and effective care for each member – and ensure that no one falls through the cracks.
  • Ginger is reimbursed as a virtual in-network benefit through fully-insured, self-insured, and government-funded programs, such as Cigna and AmeriHealth Caritas District of Columbia, a Medicaid program.
  • Headspace has forged innovative partnerships with household entertainment and technology brands such as Netflix, Apple, Spotify, and BBC Studios, including a recent integration with Microsoft, which enables millions of people to bring meditation and mindfulness into their workday through the Microsoft Viva Insights app in Teams.
  • Headspace partners with companies across the healthcare ecosystem including Bright HealthCare and Solera Health, which distributes Headspace to leading regional health plans through their Mental Health and Stress solution. Through these partnerships, the cost of Headspace is fully covered.

“Headspace and Ginger have a shared recognition that the mental health crisis can’t be solved by simply hiring more therapists or moving care online,” said Russell Glass, CEO of Ginger. “Through this merger, we can uniquely tackle the full spectrum of mental health needs – from prevention to clinical care – all from one integrated platform.”

Upon close of the merger, Russell Glass, CEO of Ginger, will take on the role of CEO of Headspace Health. CeCe Morken will remain CEO of Headspace and take on the additional role of President for the combined entity. This transaction is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the last quarter of 2021. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Executive leaders from Headspace and Ginger will host a joint webcast on September 22, 2021 at 4:00pm EDT, where you can learn more about how meditation, mindfulness, and on-demand mental healthcare have helped leading employers and health plans to create healthier and more productive populations.

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