36. Self Space

Self Space is on a bid to tackle the mental health crisis by offering easy access to in-person therapy sessions with real professionals.

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Founder: Jodie Cariss and Chance Marshall

Year founded: 2018
Website: theselfspace.com

We all know that nurturing your mind is just as important as nourishing your body. But today, those of us who do take the brave step to ask for help will run into a healthcare crisis. As of March this year, more than 100,000 people were on NHS waiting lists for mental health care. 

That’s where Self Space steps in. Self-described as the world’s first on-demand mental health service on the high street, Self Space wants to make it as easy as possible to access 1-1 sessions with clinical psychologists, psychotherapists, counsellors, arts therapists, and trauma specialists.

“I have friends who go through the NHS and they might wait for six months, and in that time, their anxiety is exacerbated and their depression has got worse,” explains Self Space co-founder, Chance Marshall. “We catch people at a time when it doesn’t have to lead to mental illness.” 

We catch people at a time when it doesn’t have to lead to mental illness.

In a bid to disrupt the mental health industry, Self Space offers a bespoke match-making service that pairs patients to a suitable therapist. It also permits walk-ins to book last minute or impromptu sessions, rejecting waiting lists and making it easier for new service users to get a sense of how the process works.

Self Space also wants to change the culture around mental health by taking it from a reactive approach, to a maintenance mindset. This means embedding itself into the high streets of multiple cities to weave mental healthcare into people’s every day routine. 

So far, Self Space has launched its fourth and largest branch in Soho. A carefully curated space in the heart of Berwick Street, Self Space Soho can provide an additional 17,000 in-person sessions per year from a low starting cost of just £60 per one hour session.

This novel approach to mental health has chimed with Self Space’s corporate partners, which include brands like Huel, Selfridges, Stella McCartney, and Sweaty Betty. As awareness grows around the importance of good mental health in the workplace, Self Space is collaborating with employers to improve employee health, safety and wellbeing.

In a further innovative push, Self Space also hosts thought-provoking group therapy to cultivate deeper connections. Users can sign up to relationships and red-flag check-in sessions like ‘Am I The Drama?’ and ‘Slow Dating: For people sick of swiping’.

In future, Self Space plans to become the number one mental health provider for businesses across the UK through its Mental Health Champions programme. Proving there’s a space for everyone to try therapy this year, we’re excited to see the positive impact this top 100 startup will have in 2024.

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