Mental Healthcare: Targeting Confidence As A Root Cause & Creating Long-term Solutions

mental health solutions

Key Takeaways

  • The mental health tech space is filled with solutions that soothe symptoms but lack innovative, scalable, and lasting interventions that prioritize impact over profit.
  • It is essential to develop mental health solutions that tackle key root causes, such as confidence-building (as championed by, to improve mental healthcare.
  • Despite perceived saturation in the sector, mental healthcare technology needs innovation and would benefit from a new investment approach that supports long-term care solutions.

Mental health has long been a subject of concern, but only recently has the world begun to truly acknowledge its importance. Mental health is not just something you treat when you have a problem; it requires an ongoing approach to prevention, treatment, and maintenance.

How big is the problem of mental health? For starters, the impact of depression and anxiety on the global economy can be measured in $1 trillion in lost productivity each year. The percentage of adults in the U.S. who receive mental health treatments rose from 19.2% in 2019 to 21.6% in 2021. It goes without saying that the Covid-19 pandemic was a heavy influence during this time. However, the prevalence of illness, even now, remains and affects patients of all ages, races, and genders.

Fortunately, the stigma around mental health discussion and treatment is dissipating, and the demand for mental health solutions and support is skyrocketing. However, the approach taken thus far has been symptom-fighting the surface issues without addressing the underlying causes.

In this article, we delve into the necessity of a shift in the mindset around mental health care and supported individual accountability. This shift includes focusing on the key root factors of good population mental health and resilience, such as building confidence as the foundation for well-being.

We’ll explore the challenges of healthtech in this area, discuss the constant quest for novelty over the fundamentals, examine the lack of funding in a perceived saturated market, and propose a new investment approach to drive innovation.

The Symptom-Fighting Approach: A Short-Term Fix

Historically and even today, mental health care often revolves around addressing symptoms rather than the root causes. This approach is akin to treating a fever without identifying and treating the underlying infection. While symptom management provides temporary relief, it fails to produce lasting results. Patients often find themselves trapped in a cycle of therapy and medication without a clear path to long-term recovery.

In addition, despite a growth in therapy start-ups, affordability is still low, making accessibility difficult. Plus, in many cultures, therapy is still looked down upon, a perspective that is difficult to change, creating barriers to therapy-based treatments.

The Confidence Paradigm: A Necessary Shift

It’s 2023, and we are in a world that pursues instant gratification. Exercises for 10 minutes a day promise the “perfect body”; pills, lotions, cosmetic interventions, and other soothing agents provide surface-level changes that make us believe “we are taking care of ourselves.”

Mental health, in particular, is typically approached as something that only needs our attention when it’s bad. Few people proactively invest in mental health as they would in their physical health to overcome internal issues such as shame or trauma, work on insecurities, or actively spend time to strengthen their self-awareness.

Mental health treatments should focus on sustainably building inner strength, where patients can find contentment and peace and perform better as partners, parents, and the like.

Addressing Confidence is Key

Self-confidence, or self-concept, was described in 1999 by Baumeister and refers to how we see and understand ourselves. Our self-concept impacts self-confidence, self-love, and self-worth and ultimately affects our levels of happiness.

85% of adults and teens worldwide suffer from low self-esteem and self-concept, and mental health issues have tripled in children and young people in the last 5 years. The public is suffering a crisis of confidence, and addressing this is one way to provide targeted mental health treatments.

Confidence is one, if not THE, critical but often overlooked key root factor in sustainably good mental health. It goes beyond self-assuredness; it encompasses a person’s ability to navigate challenges, manage stress, and build resilience.

While mental health issues have increased, so have the number of mental health apps, which begs the question of to what extent they truly bring the scalable impact the sector promises.

We have become stuck in thinking confidence is about self-promotion in a world with increased value placed on self-promotion over substance.

“The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered: “Man! Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

Instead, developing confidence means fostering an inner sense of security, trusting oneself, and having profound internal and external self-awareness. It’s about knowing and being clear on one’s values, passions, and goals. It means detaching oneself from chasing external validation of praise, perceived symbols of status, or other forms of attention.

By focusing on confidence as the root factor, mental health interventions can shift from managing surface-level symptoms to promoting sustainable well-being.

The Fundamentals of Mental Health

In the quest for innovation, mental health solutions often overlook the importance of getting the basics right. New apps and platforms continually flood the market, each claiming to be a game-changer. However, many fail to provide the necessary care and support that individuals with mental health challenges require. This constant chase for the “next big thing” leaves foundational aspects neglected.

But how do we get there?

We Need To Go Back To The Basics

We need more investment in the boring stuff: the basics.

According to data by HopStair, around 97% of user feedback companies receive on their platforms constitutes small changes, with the rest including some big feature changes that would make a difference. Companies must invest time in iterating on user feedback and making corresponding improvements.

HopStair: A Confidence Coach In Your Pocket

HopStair is focused on the root factor of good mental health: confidence. The concept centers around becoming the Duolingo of confidence building. The idea is to help people invest in their mental health piggy bank daily through bite-sized, nudgy, and interactive prompts. With daily steps and a community to steadily unlock their authentic selves, the app helps users overcome mental barriers, learn about themselves, and fundamentally learn self-appreciation.

HopStair is about the basics. It responds to and implements the thousands of little (and few big) things users would like to see to make the platform human and sticky.

HopStair is one of several solutions that have the potential to redefine how we look at mental health. It helps people invest in their mental strength, giving them the tools to be well for good and in a 100% user- and impact-focused way. The result is an environment where proactive investment in oneself is the norm and treatment a rarity.

As you can imagine, if every mental health solution took the same approach, it would greatly benefit individuals, health systems, and society overall.

The Future of Mental Health Solutions

One of the challenges in the mental healthtech space is the perception of saturation. Investors, often wary of backing solutions in a seemingly crowded market, withhold funding. However, this perception does not align with the reality of mental health needs. The demand for effective solutions far exceeds the current supply.

The Need For Increased Funding

Adequate investment can lead to the development of truly innovative human technologies that focus on confidence-building and holistic well-being rather than quick fixes.

A New Investment Approach May Be Needed

Instead of solely seeking quick returns, investors should consider the long-term benefits of root factor human tech, including confidence-building interventions. To support this shift, digital mental health solutions require a new form of venture capital and investment approach.

This approach requires focusing on patient capital and a willingness to wait for results and return on investments. Doing so can catalyze genuine progress in mental health and has unrivaled chances of simultaneously becoming the next unicorn.

Confidence-building is one unique root cause that mental healthtech can address and opens doors to novel investment opportunities. Not only does it improve mental health, but it results in long-term resilience and improvement in overall health.

Final Thoughts

The time has come for a seismic shift in how we approach mental health. Focusing on root causes, rather than merely addressing symptoms, is the key to genuine progress.

Despite perceptions of saturation, increased funding and a new investment approach are crucial for driving innovation in this field. By prioritizing long-term well-being and patient capital, we can build a brighter, more resilient mental health care future.

Nadine Pfeifer
Nadine Pfeifer

Nadine holds a senior management position in the UK NHS and founded HopStair, an online tool that helps people, especially students, overcome their mental barriers and fulfill their potential. She graduated from the University of Oxford with a background in social and behavioral science. Nadine is a huge authenticity geek and has always been passionate about getting people unstuck to enable them to be and own their beautiful, unique selves.

Scroll to Top