Columbia University’s 2022 “Capital For Good” Social Enterprise Conference features Supportiv CEO Helena Plater-Zyberk, discussing the power of tech innovation for peer support systems.

The panel discussion, entitled “Strengthening Mental Health Through Tech Innovation, Connectivity, and Peer Support Systems,” features multiple speakers at the forefront of peer support’s intersection with tech.

Sandi Drucker Wright begins the panel with an important point–that as we all become more “fluent” in mental health, so too must our tools for dealing with mental health. Panelist Elise Shuster calls attention to the need for meeting people where they are in .

Panelist Ivan Tchatchouwo speaks to how safe spaces can help even very successful people, like athletes, better understand and work with their mental health in lieu of robust in-house resources.

Supportiv CEO Helena Plater-Zyberk takes her turn to address how average Americans may not have access to traditional mental health support, given the extreme therapy provider shortage. Additionally, many populations within our country shy from traditional services (like men, who make up 43% of Supportiv’s user base).

Plater-Zyberk also mentions the breadth of alternatives that can potentially circumvent our provider shortage. However, she notes that not all such alternatives are evidence-based, not all are human-based, and not all can deliver clinical-grade outcomes. These conclusions point to the power of peer support, and to the need to enable peer support at scale–across population segments–through technology.

Notably, all organizations featured on this panel are doing “direct service work,” without traditional VC funding. These services reach their target populations and bring in revenue, despite limited “buying power” amongst the vulnerable groups of individuals they serve.

For instance, Plater-Zyberk shares that Supportiv contracts with two Fortune 5 employers (among others). This, and the rest of the panel’s discussion, illustrates the bona fide demand for innovative peer support services, recognized by major employers and health carriers across the nation.

For more on technology’s ability to enable emotional relief at scale, view the full panel recording here.