Digital mental health company Ginger begins offering services in Spanish

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Digital behavioral health platform Ginger announced Monday its on-demand mental healthcare services will soon be available to members in Spanish. 

Select Ginger clients will have access to the Spanish language program in the fall, and all members will be able to use Ginger’s behavioral health tools in Spanish by early 2022.

The company said members will have access to the full app experience in Spanish, including text-based coaching, teletherapy, and guided self-care information and activities. They’ll also use Spanish language communications materials and outcomes measurement tools, like the PHQ-9 used to assess depressive symptoms and the GAD-7 for anxiety.

“Unfortunately, many of our most vulnerable people are often those who speak English as a second language,” Desiree Pascual, chief people officer at Ginger, said in a statement.

“Offering Ginger’s full-continuum of care in Spanish is an enormous step forward in making mental healthcare accessible to those who have been underserved for so long.”

WHY IT MATTERS

In 2016, 40 million U.S. residents ages five and older spoke Spanish at home, more than 13% of that population, according to the Census’ American Community Survey

Despite the large and growing population of Spanish speakers, only 5.5% of respondents to the American Psychological Association’s 2015 provider survey reported being able to conduct services in Spanish. 

That can make seeking help even more challenging. According to a report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, language barriers may be one reason fewer Hispanic or Latino adults with a mental illness received treatment in 2019 compared with the general population. 

THE LARGER TREND

Ginger made news last month when it announced it was merging with meditation app Headspace. The companies plan to combine their products into one platform under the name Headspace Health.

Ginger has also been expanding its services. In July, the company added behavioral health services with a focus on teens and in February partnered with digital pharmacy Capsule for medication delivery and management. 

In March, Ginger closed a $100 million Series E funding round less than a year after a $50 million Series D round.

Digital health funding in general is booming, and mental health is leading the pack. According to a July Rock Health report, digital behavioral health companies have pulled in $1.5 billion in the first half of 2021. 

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