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New Study Reveals Coaching Has Clinically Meaningful Impact on Pediatric Mental Health


Press Release





December 18, 2023

Newly published research shows that as few as two to six sessions of one-on-one online coaching can efficiently address anxiety and depressive symptoms in youth.

MADISON, Wis., (December 18, 2023) - Bend Health, Inc. ("Bend"), a national provider of pediatric mental health care for children, teens, and families, today announced the findings of a new study highlighting the positive impact of online coaching sessions on anxiety and depression in youth. Published in JMIR Formative Research, the findings show substantial improvements in mental health symptoms of participants after just a few online coaching sessions.

The study's findings suggest that pediatric mental health outcomes can be meaningfully improved through virtual one-on-one coaching sessions:

  • Over 95% of youth with anxiety and depressive symptoms exhibited clinically significant improvements in their symptoms over the course of coaching with Bend.
  • Reliable improvement in anxiety and depressive symptoms was observed for most participating youth after just two online coaching sessions. This indicates that the coaching intervention had a prompt and positive impact, leading to clinically-significant changes in symptoms early in the intervention process.
  • Stable improvement (i.e., lasting benefits) in anxiety and depressive symptoms was observed for most participating youth after only six online coaching sessions, indicating that the benefits lasted for at least two months in a row, above and beyond normal day-to-day variations. Most participants completed the six sessions over the course of two to three months, indicating that online coaching sessions yield rapid and ongoing positive effects on youth mental health. 

The study analyzed data from 392 youth ages six to 17 who participated in Bend’s virtual behavioral health coaching only (no therapy or psychiatry) for at least three months to investigate how many coaching sessions were required to reach reliable and stable symptom change in youth anxiety and depressive symptoms. Sessions took place with a master’s level or certified mental health coach. 

“These new study findings highlight the positive impact of coaching as a modality for reaching the millions of kids who need mental health support. In just a couple of sessions with coaches, kids and teens show both significant and lasting improvements in both their anxiety and depressive symptoms,” said Dr. Monika Roots, co-founder and president of Bend Health. “Providing support to young people through early interventions like behavioral health coaching can make a significant difference. The goal of coaching is to prevent the development of more severe mental health issues down the line, and this data shows that is working.”

From 2016 to 2020, there has been a significant rise in anxiety and depression rates among youth, with 5.8 million children and adolescents diagnosed with anxiety and 2.7 million with depression during this period. One in five young people do not receive adequate mental health treatment, highlighting a crucial need for greater accessibility in pediatric mental health services.

The study's results contribute to the growing evidence supporting online behavioral health coaching as a valuable form of mental health care that can help young people reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in a relatively short time frame. Bend Health is committed to providing accessible and effective mental health care to positively impact the lives of young people.

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About Bend Health, Inc. 

Bend Health, Inc., a national provider of pediatric mental health care services for children and families, is on a mission to improve access and reduce the cost of high-quality, expert mental health care. Bend is revolutionizing treatment through its unique collaborative care model that includes coaches, therapists, and psychiatric providers who work with families to provide comprehensive, personalized care plans that help children feel better today, and thrive tomorrow. Through measurement-based care, Bend achieves better outcomes, supporting happier and healthier kids and families, with five peer-reviewed studies published in 2023 demonstrating the effectiveness of the model. Bend’s services are available to 20M million kids through partnerships with leading insurers, employers, and health systems, and self-pay. For more information, visit www.BendHealth.com  

About JMIR Publications 

JMIR Publications is a leading, born-digital, open access publisher of 30+ academic journals and other innovative scientific communication products that focus on the intersection of health and technology. JMIR Formative Research (Impact Factor: 2.2) is a leading publisher of peer-reviewed, openly accessible papers containing formative research and preliminary results.