Creating a real-life impact on lives across the UK, Thalamos is a startup using tech to improve access to vital mental health care. The London-based team has just raised €1 million.
Mental health care is simply not as accessible as it needs to be and too many lives are being put at risk due to errors and unnecessary delays. The existing systems, which largely rely on outdated paper forms, are one of the key causes (in addition to the shocking underfunding of mental health services), and it’s an area that needs digitisation and an innovative eye to improve the situation.
Thalamos was founded to do just that by digitising the Mental Health Act. The impact-first startup has just raised €1 million in a seed round backed by the Conduit Impact EIS Fund which is managed by Ascension, Angels including Syndicate Room, and a private Seedrs crowdfund.
Thalamos: Improving access to life-saving care
Founded in 2018 by cousins Arden and Ross Tomison, Thalamos was inspired by the experience of a close friend who needed to receive mental health treatment. In the process, countless paper forms had to be circulated and approved before his care could begin – leaving him waiting too long for help whilst in crisis. It gave the cousins the impetus to do something about it – to make the process of getting vital treatment kinder, safer and more efficient.
So, they created a digital platform that provides quick and safe access to mental health care.
Founder Arden Tomison: “When an individual is sectioned under the Mental Health Act, they are in need of urgent treatment and support. Delays in accessing this can severely hamper recovery. The completion of Mental Health Act forms is an essential legal process that ensures patients receive the right treatment, safely; but no-one should have to wait for care when in crisis.”
Arden added: As demand for acute mental health care rises, the current paper-based system piles an unnecessary administrative burden on clinicians’ plates, reducing their already limited capacity. This ultimately slows down access to treatment for patients and exacerbates growing pressures on services.”
Thalamos offers a streamlined digital system which significantly lowers the risk of errors and eliminates unnecessary delays.
Hadley Diest, Investment Manager at Ascension: “Acute mental health care is an immense challenge in the UK – it is both traumatic for patients, and also hugely time-consuming and disjointed for the various stakeholders providing care. Thalamos’ groundbreaking digital workflow tool enables those involved in patient intake, treatment, discharge and ongoing support to work together more seamlessly than ever before, ultimately leading to better patient outcomes and more efficient collaboration between the NHS, police, care providers and regulators.”
“Further, as digital health is a focus area for the Conduit EIS Impact Fund, Thalamos represents a strong addition to our portfolio of companies that are both mission-driven and highly scalable in equal measure; Ascension and Conduit Connect look forward to supporting Arden and his superb team and advisors on this next stage of their growth within acute mental health and beyond.”
Mental health crisis
In the post-pandemic years, we are in a critical moment for mental health care and more and more people are finding themselves in need of treatment. In the UK, the number of people being sectioned under the Mental Health Act is continuing to rise, and it’s a common theme throughout Europe.
Thalamos already works with seven mental health care providers in the UK, giving over 40,000 practitioners access to the digital tools needed to speed up access to care for those in crisis. Using Thalamos instead of paper-based processes is reducing the risk of error by up to 89%.
In addition, the team works closely with lived-experience professionals to ensure a responsible approach to innovation; one which also seeks to reduce inequalities as part of the process.
Arden: “At Thalamos, we’re working closely with mental health care providers across England to deliver a fully digitised solution which makes access to acute care swifter, simpler and safer. This is helping practitioners speed up the arrangement of patient admission, treatment and transfer, while increasing data security and care quality. We’re so grateful to our amazing group of investors for supporting us to expand our work to optimise the care accessed and received by a growing number of mental health care patients.”
This investment will support the Thalamos team to make a tangible difference in the lives of many as they will be able to expand the team and strengthen the product. This will mean more mental health care providers can be supported to help patients, clinicians and systems.