How Mental

NHS Problem

Early intervention is crucial to the prevention of mental health problems. However, primary care mental health services are sorely lacking. Most people are referred straight to specialists which causes huge waiting lists for support, 1.6 Million people at present. While people wait to be seen, preventable problems become more severe. 

Since 2017, we have seen an increase from 10% to 25% of 17-19-year-olds with a probably mental health disorder. However, only 8% of total CCG spending on mental health goes towards CYPMHS. If we do not prevent mental health problems earlier on, this will not only perpetuate a generational cycle of mental illness, it will lead to unprecedented challenges for adult services in the near future. 

The Solution

How Mental’s app ‘How Are We’ aids primary care mental health services with continuous, real-time monitoring, triaging and intervention for youth mental health. It helps detect problems as they arise, supports young people with relevant therapeutic tools and provides an in-app community to encourage and engage them. This saves money and time on specialist care for those in acute need. 

How Are We’s continuous monitoring also benefits specialists by assessing intervention efficacy and optimising care delivery. In social care, the app provides a consistent view of children’s wellbeing between visits, aiding caseworkers in decision-making and court proceedings with timely, data-driven insights. 


How Are We is a proactive mental healthcare solution designed to be used, first and foremost, by young people aged 10-25. Today, the UK has over 19 million young people in that age range, with approximately 1 in 4 experiencing a probable mental health disorder at any given time. 

Investing in early ‘detection’ services could be significantly cost-effective, potentially saving the NHS £15 for every £1 spent. Current spending on CYPMHS is approximately £1.1 billion per year, which accounts for 8% of total mental health spending by CCGs. Our target age group straddles adult and children’s mental health services and will save money for both as preventing mental health problems in children will have a positive knock-on effect on adult services as they are less likely to seek support in later life. This will shorten waiting lists and ensure people in need of support can be seen. 

Wider health and care costs of mental health are approximately £60 billion per year, this is a subset of the total cost of mental health to the UK economy which is approximately £300 billion per year according to the Centre for Mental Health’s report released in 2024.