Home 5 Healthcare 5 UpLift Accelerates into Higher Ed with Acquisition of TAO Connect

UpLift Accelerates into Higher Ed with Acquisition of TAO Connect

by | Healthcare, News

NEW YORK, March 11, 2024 /PRNewswire/UpLift, a technology-driven behavioral health company delivering in-network therapy and psychiatry, today announced that it has acquired TAO Connect, a therapy-assisted mental health solution with digital tools and resources designed for higher education institutions. With the acquisition of TAO Connect, UpLift now provides services to over 170 enterprise customers nationwide and across Canada, covering over four million people, including over two million students at more than 120 higher ed institutions in the U.S. UpLift’s full spectrum of high quality care – from preventative to treating severe mental illness – makes mental healthcare work for everyone, across all conditions, geographies and generations.

The lack of access to affordable behavioral healthcare is a key driver in America’s mental health crisis. UpLift’s integrated behavioral health platform helps patients match with the right team of providers based on their clinical and non-clinical needs, delivering next-day, in-network therapy and psychiatry through a national network of nearly 2000 licensed providers. With TAO by UpLift, a new behavioral health program for students, institutions now have access to a comprehensive higher ed mental healthcare solution, and the continuity of care designed to complement institutions’ counseling service offerings, all covered by insurance.

Students desperately need access to affordable care. Key findings from the American College Health Association National College Health Assessment find that 77% of college students struggle with mental health and 53% did not receive care in the last 12 months. A recent survey, The College Student Behavioral Health Report, looked at the reasons students didn’t seek care with the following findings: 51% “too expensive,” 27% “couldn’t find care,” and 27% “wait times too long.” Yet, 85% of college students have health insurance.

“We read about the crisis of care every day. College students are increasingly anxious, depressed, and struggling with loneliness and the pressure of academia, and institutions are proactively seeking ways to augment and complement their counseling services,” said Kyle Talcott, CEO and founder of UpLift. “With TAO, we are already on the ground with preventative, self-guided tools and resources, and are now expanding our offerings to complement the counseling centers with therapy and psychiatry to care for students when, where, and how they need it. At the same time, we are able to leverage our insurance model to lower the cost to higher ed customers and remove the caps on care that are all too commonly placed by existing solutions.”

Like UpLift, TAO Connect was conceived to fulfill the unmet need for more accessible and better mental healthcare treatment options and solutions, including telehealth. Although initially designed for higher ed, TAO Connect’s evidence-based digital tools and resources have proved extendable and valuable to other enterprises, including large employers and health systems.

“Campus counseling services are improving and saving student’s lives every day,” said Dr. Sherry Benton, founder of TAO Connect, Professor Emeritus, University of Florida. “When I started TAO ten years ago, it was to bring more counseling services to higher ed. Our customer base has grown and diversified and they have been asking for the addition of therapy and psychiatric services. I am thrilled that we can now extend our resources and services with access to UpLift’s integrated behavioral healthcare platform. Kyle and I overlapped for several years at the University of Florida where I started TAO, and we share the same mission – to make mental healthcare work for everyone.”

TAO by UpLift is rolling out and activating across higher ed institutions in the country including and two- and four-year public and private schools and spanning community colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and graduate schools.

“TAO Connect is a powerful tool for campuses committed to becoming health-promoting institutions, impacting students’ lives every day,” said Peter Cornish, PhD, director of counseling and psychological services at UC Berkeley’s University Health Services and an Honorary Research Professor at the Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada. “As is the case with TAO and UpLift, partnerships between organizations that offer care along the continuum – including access to therapy and psychiatry – are critically needed and I look forward to collaborating.”

UpLift uses technology to enable a simple, personalized, equitable and accessible student experience. From navigation to treatment, students have 24/7 access to care, personalized provider recommendations and treatment, and a view of their progress through integrated measurement-based clinical assessments. With UpLift:

  • New patients receive care within 1.4 days, on average
  • 93% of patients with severe depression experienced a clinically meaningful reduction in symptoms
  • 9 out of 10 patients say they feel better within 90 days
  • 46% of providers identify as BIPOC

“UpLift’s acquisition of TAO Connect will go a long way to servicing the higher ed market’s unmet mental health needs, providing care continuity by adding team-based therapy and psychiatry, ” said Matt Rice, Partner at Ballast Point Ventures. “UpLift’s full end-to-end behavioral health platform combined with TAO’s resources and self-guided toolset offer a complete solution for students, wherever they are in their care journey.”

UpLift was founded in partnership with Redesign Health, a healthcare innovation company. UpLift accepts insurance payments from most major commercial, Medicare and Medicaid health plans, including through agreements with national carriers UnitedHealthcare, Aetna and Cigna.