Mental health company Mindbloom provides guided psychedelic therapy treatments using ketamine. The company opened its first location in New York City during the COVID-19 crisis. Mindbloom has quickly pivoted to telemedicine as the demand for its services has risen during the pandemic. Green Market Report was able to speak with Founder Dylan Beynon to discuss the company’s response and its plans for expansion.
Debra Borchardt, Editor, Green Market Report: Mindbloom is a new company that has a clinic in Manhattan in New York City that is starting ketamine treatments, but they have plans for many more types of treatments using various psychedelic drugs for people with really pressing issues having to do with anxiety, drug-resistant depression. Dyan, tell us how you came up with this idea and what prompted you to start this company.
Dylan Beynon, Founder Mindbloom: First super excited to chat with you today, Deb, and to share the incredible work that our psychiatric clinicians are doing in mental health care for people here in New York and soon all across the country. I got the idea for Mindbloom really over the past 10 years. I grew up in a family that had a severe mental illness, both my mother and my sister and throughout my development, getting through some of the turbulence that I grew up with, I turned to psychedelic medicine 10 years ago and it was one of the most transformational events of my life and it’s been a big part of my life for the last 10 years. 18 months ago I became a ketamine patient in a clinical setting and saw that there was an opportunity to take this profound transformational medicine and help bring it to more people and increase access to help people who need it most get the care that they need.
GMR: And how are you reacting to the current COVID crisis? Because we’ve been hearing that some doctors don’t want to see patients in person right now and with this particular situation, because this virus is so frightening, I would think that your very patients are the ones that really need treatments the most right now, that maybe their anxiety levels have skyrocketed or maybe if they weren’t even an existing patient that, if they weren’t one before, they are one now. How are you guys responding?
Dylan Beynon: You nailed it, Deb. We used to say that mental health care is the number one public health crisis in the United States and that’s no longer the case. Coronavirus is without a doubt the number one public health crisis in the United States. We’re in a state of emergency and we’re seeing a demand for treatments for anxiety, depression on Mindbloom a skyrocket since the onset of coronavirus. The way that we’ve responded, and I’m really proud of our clinicians for really feeling the call to service during this time, is we had already begun piloting virtual and remote sessions to help increase access to treatment. So essentially like telepsychedelics. And we had already done through the platform a couple of hundred remote sessions for people who had started their journey in Mindbloom’s nomad center.
Dylan Beynon: And so now in response to coronavirus, we are really excited to announce that our clinicians are treating 100% virtually. So remote enabled and guided psychedelic therapy sessions with guided ketamine therapy so that people can stay home and get the treatment that they need for their anxiety and depression without having to come in and keep both our clinicians and clients safe in these tough times.
GMR: Beyond the inpatient experience, Mindbloom also has special software that you’ve created around the treatment process. Can you dig into that a little bit better? Is that followup software or how does this software relate to the treatment?
Dylan Beynon: From day one, we set out to become a technology company, helping use technology to increase access to people and to help our clinicians improve outcomes to help people really get the most out of these treatments. So you can think of it as a teletherapy meets a Headspace platform designed specifically for psychedelic therapy where clients are able to do video consults and video therapy to prepare and integrate their experiences with trained psychiatric clinicians and therapists. Mindbloom also helps people with guided psychedelic therapy content, including audioscapes with guided meditations and music for their sessions and journaling prompts and other content to help them really maximize the experience.
GMR: One of the things that I know you were planning to do is expand, so right now you mentioned you’re in Manhattan and you’ve got plans to go into other cities. What are those other cities and what are the goals here?
Dylan Beynon: In the next 30 days, we’re already going to expand into states that have, in the state of emergency dropped their in-state licensure requirements for physicians and clinicians to need a license in that state to practice. And so that’s an effort to respond to the coronavirus crisis by helping to increase access to behavioral health and mental healthcare treatments. And then we’re going to continue to expand across the country over the next year or two with both our clinic-based and remote-based approaches.
GMR: And how are you funded? Because you are a new company and expansion is not cheap. And I was just curious, are you self funded? Have you done a raise? What has gotten you to this point?
Dylan Beynon: We’re a venture-backed healthcare technology company. We closed our first round of funding in the summer of last year to begin treating our first cohort of clients through the platform and bringing clinicians on to do that treatment. And so we’ve raised funding from some of the biggest investors in healthcare technology and psychedelic medicine. So some of the same people who funded and backed Zocdoc and Oscar and COMPASS Pathways. So right now we’re laser-focused on helping people during this crisis and helping clinicians on Mindbloom add the tools that they need to create these astounding outcomes for people. And I think as long as we continue to do that, then the next funding for expansion will fall in place.
GMR: Right now you’re really focused on ketamine because that’s legal, but you have plans for Psilocybin and other products, correct?
Dylan Beynon: We don’t think of Mindbloom is either a ketamine therapy company nor even a psychedelic medicine company, but as a next-generation mental health and wellbeing platform who are helping to increase access to the most effective science-backed mental health and wellbeing treatments available. Today based on research, based on my experience, based on the experience of our medical director, Dr. Casey Paleos who’s a principal investigator on the MDMA clinical trials and was an early pioneer in ketamine therapy research and practice, we think that ketamine is the most effective science-backed treatment that is not readily or widely available to people. So that’s our focus today, but we are super excited based on everything I just mentioned plus the research for MDMA assisted therapy, which is in phase three clinical trials, Psilocybin assisted therapy, which is in phase two clinical trials. Both breakthrough therapies designation by the FDA as well as other non-psychedelic medicine treatments that we think can be really powerful to help people with anxiety, depression, and other conditions that we begin helping people with.
GMR: Thank you so much for joining us and good luck with that. And really, I think it’s super that you’re out there helping people, helping them through this crisis and helping them so that they can be functioning adults.