Mental Health “Glow-Up”: How to Win Gen Z

  1. Underserved & Emerging Consumers: Gen Z will overtake Millennials as the largest generation in 2022. This demographic will drive changes in values and consumer behavior. As Gen Z begins to command greater purchasing power, we make investments knowing that this will become an increasingly important group for platforms and brands to target.

Mental Health Solutions Built for Gen Z

Gen Z takes a holistic approach to mental health. Gen Zs spend more time and money on preventative measures (56%) than episodic reasons (44%), placing their attention on integrating wellness into daily routines to avoid health concerns from arising in the first place. As such, I focused my research on understanding solutions outside of traditional provider relationships that prevent uncontrolled mental health concerns from escalating into issues that require more extensive evaluation by a physician. Early movers building mental health solutions in this space fall into three categories:

  1. Text-Based Support: On-demand texting with a trusted care professional for convenient access to advice
  2. Social Communities: Online healthy social networks that allow users to share with and respond to others on the platform

1) Self-Care Programs

ClassPass memberships, Lululemon, and Goop are just a few ways Gen Z integrates mental wellness into daily routines. While these brands were not built exclusively for Gen Z, they have been widely adopted by this demographic and represent the first iteration of mental health solutions for teens. Gen Z’s interest in wellness creates an opportunity for apps offering fitness, nutrition, sleep, mood tracking, and mindfulness solutions.

  • Shine, which helps create self-care rituals through meditation, community, and reflection; and
  • Open, a platform offering meditation, breathwork, and movement.

2) Text-Based Support

Convenience: In situations where teens desire advice from a live, trusted professional, on-demand care will be prioritized. Given Gen Z has grown up in a world of convenience and accessibility at their fingertips through apps like GrubHub and Uber, it may be unrealistic to expect Gen Z teens to schedule an appointment several weeks in advance to connect with a mental health professional. Convenience is now table stakes, and mental health solutions that prioritize this are best positioned to succeed.

  • Ginger, which offers text-based behavioral health coaching; and
  • MindRight, which provides culturally responsive text-based coaching.

3) Social Community

A majority of Gen Z is comfortable building online-only relationships. Whether it’s through Twitter or Clubhouse, 56% of Gen Z is friends with someone they only know from online interactions. As it relates to mental health, 78% of Gen Zs believe that technology supports them by providing an opportunity to connect with others who may be struggling with similar issues. Given this generation is more likely to turn to social media and friends than physicians, there is an opportunity to create an online community that promotes mental wellness.

  • Blue Fever, an anonymous social network platform for expression and support of emotions; and
  • Inpathy, a healthy social network for users to share audio or video content with each other.


Tackling the teen mental health market does not come without challenges, but prompt action is necessary given stressors are at an all-time high and the importance of equipping teens with the appropriate resources to manage their wellbeing.



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