Intellect launches digital mental health services in Japan

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Team Intellect
Aug 23, 2022

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Singapore, 23 August 2022 – Intellect, Asia Pacific’s largest mental health technology company, today announced its official launch in Japan as part of their regional expansion plans. Intellect’s launch in Japan is a heavily backed one, coming in with the strong backing of some of Japan’s largest venture capital investors, including JAFCO Asia, Headline Asia, and DG Daiwa Ventures, and some of the largest Japanese conglomerates including PERSOL Holdings, and MS&AD Ventures

It comes on the back of Intellect’s recent US$20M Series A funding round led by Tiger Global, which is also the largest funding round raised by a mental health startup to date in Asia.

Intellect seeks to revoutionise the narrative of accessible and relatable mental health support for employers and consumers in Japan, on top of Intellect’s current efforts in 20 other countries. Intellect’s end-to-end, 24/7 access to holistic mental health support sits on a single mobile app and is currently available in 14 languages, offering mental health benefits solutions to employers and their families. 

As employers worldwide become more aware of the need for placing greater emphasis on mental health in the workplace, they must keep in mind local socio-cultural contexts that may change the mental health care needed in various communities. 

In Asia, the need for greater awareness, a lowered stigma and barrier to seeking accessible mental health resources is critical. The current workforce landscape shows that burnout and over-work are prevalent and affect employee health greatly. A 2021 APAC workplace health study by Intellect showed that over 80% of respondents felt burnout and about 40% cited using disengagement as a coping style for workplace stressors. 

Within Japan, a study showed the key workplace stressors that negatively impact mental health include excessive responsibilities, drastic changes in work style or workload and interpersonal conflict. There is also strong stigma demonstrated towards those with mental health issues. Additionally, 7.8% of the Japanese workforce were absent from work for over a month due to mental health reasons. 

Theodoric Chew, Co-founder & CEO of Intellect, said, “Today, we take a big step in our journey towards re-defining what mental health and wellbeing can look like in Japan, a workforce that has traditionally faced high levels of stress and mental health struggle. Intellect’s entrance into the Japanese market is extremely timely and tailored to the needs of the local market. We hope to ignite a shift in mindset towards the topic of mental healthcare and wellbeing by sparking more conversations and efforts around this topic. We believe the combination of Intellect’s strong expertise, alongside our partnerships and backing from some of the largest Japanese conglomerates and investors, will provide a tailored experience for the Japanese population in a way that will make a big change.”

Dr Oliver Suendermann, Clinical Director, said, “We hope to be a game-changer in the field of psychological support and use the resources at our disposal to conduct needs-based assessments and offer very targeted solutions. At Intellect, we bring together clinical research, product innovation, continual development, user engagement and efficient operations. Our strong network of local psychologists and psychiatrists will offer valuable insight into the local market, therefore offering the community access to personalised mental health resources that are very much attuned to each local individual’s needs.”

Mari Ataka, a Japan-based Coach, said, “According to The Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training, nearly 60% of local organisations’ employees have mental health conditions, with this number increasing. Intellect’s coaching programme sits on an easy-to-use mobile application and would be a powerful resource to support Japanese employees by offering coaching sessions with behavioural coaches any time, anywhere.” 

In 2021, Intellect’s user base grew three-fold, from 1 million to 3 million users across Asia Pacific. This included new enterprise clients signing on to its corporate mental health benefits solution, including major Japanese and international businesses like Shopee, foodpanda, Singtel, abrdn, Heineken and Schroders. These clients have adopted Intellect regionally and globally, with best-in-class employee adoption rates of 20 to 40%. 

Founded in late 2019, Intellect has grown rapidly to today serve millions of lives to provide mental health support that is accessible and suited to their personal needs. Its all-in-one mobile application platform provides content curated by certified experts – coaches, psychologists, researchers, counsellors and social workers – to provide accessible evidence-based resources and solutions to users. Intellect’s new base in Japan kickstarts its move to re-shape the local mental health landscape, through hyper-localised mental health support programmes and telehealth services. 

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About Intellect 

Intellect is a modern-day mental health company with a mission to make mental healthcare and wellbeing support accessible for everyone. Intellect is the largest and fastest growing mental health tech company in Asia, serving over 3 million users and leading organisations globally, through our mental health platform. Intellect was also selected as one of Google’s Best Apps of 2020. Intellect is backed by leading investors including Insignia Ventures Partners, Y Combinator, XA Network, and an extensive list of family offices, big tech executives & renowned angel investors. 

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Employees need mental wellbeing support now more than ever. With Intellect, you can give them access to the mental healthcare they need, when they need it.

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