Karan Singh, BS 05, said his career purpose didn’t become clear until a life-changing event 13 years ago.
“I was on the other end of a phone call after a loved one had tried to take their own life,” said Singh, COO of Headspace Health, during a recent Dean’s Speaker Series talk. “I’ve always thought of myself as a good read on people and a good judge of character, and I had no idea at all. I realized in a lot of communities of color—my family’s originally from India—that mental health is just the no-go zone. It’s the topic that no one talks about.”
That realization set Singh on the path to founding Ginger, a digital therapy platform that takes a preventative approach to mental health, in 2011. The company merged with Headspace, a meditation and mindfulness app, to form Headspace Health in 2021, a time of global need for mental health care services as the COVID-19 pandemic intensified behavioral health challenges.
During the DSS talk, Singh discussed the increasing level of investment in mental health care, and his excitement that more young entrepreneurs are joining him in mental health innovation.
“I want to say that mental health has made it into the forefront…I think we’re on that journey now. We’re having these conversations in rooms in government, in boardrooms, and in other settings that historically would never have been in the dialogue. So, we’ve come a long way, and still, there’s just a whole lot more we’ve got to do.”
The DSS talk was held with Google, part of a collaboration for The Haas Healthcare Association John E. Martin Mental Healthcare Challenge. The event marked the start of this year’s Challenge, which invites graduate student teams from around the world to develop creative solutions for improving the quality of and access to mental healthcare.