What You Should Know:
– Cartwheel, a platform helping schools tackle the student mental health crisis by delivering affordable, evidence-based telehealth services with no waitlist raises $20M in Series A funding led by Menlo Ventures. Reach Capital joined the round, as did earlier investors General Catalyst, BoxGroup and Able Partners.
– The funding will allow Cartwheel to expand mental health services to hundreds of thousands of new students in current service areas, as well as school districts in new states.
Evidence-Based Mental Health Support
Founded in 2022, Cartwheel has quickly become a trusted mental health partner to schools. The founding team, which includes Chief Medical Officer, Juliana Chen, MD, a board-certified child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist, had collectively spent decades working in schools and community mental health clinics and felt the need for stronger school-community partnership to improve accessibility, quality, and financial sustainability of mental health care.
Today, when a school district partners with Cartwheel, school counselors can refer students for clinical mental health services with no waitlists. Cartwheel’s in-house team of licensed clinicians delivers evidence-based telehealth services, including 1-1 therapy, group therapy, parent guidance, and medication support – all as an in-network benefit covered by the family’s insurance. Operating year-round, Cartwheel allows students to see a licensed clinician at home or at school and during evenings, weekends, school breaks, and summers.
“By combining funding from school districts and health insurers, we’ve helped superintendents ensure the long-term financial sustainability of these services,” added Daniel Tartakovsky, Co-Founder and COO of Cartwheel and previously a mental health policy advisor to the U.S. Surgeon General. “We believe our model will become a blueprint for districts across the country on how to build a long-term school-community partnership, especially as school budgets tighten with the expiration of federal COVID relief dollars.”
Throughout care, Cartwheel works hand-in-hand with school staff and families to ensure the student is appropriately supported. A clinically licensed Program Manager supports school administrators on student cases, parent engagement, and staff training throughout the year; and bilingual Care Coordinators help families with scheduling, insurance, and referrals for additional services. Parents can also schedule weekly guidance sessions with a licensed clinician to discuss ways to support their child, even if their child isn’t interested in therapy themselves. Parents can also join educational workshops on timely mental health topics, ranging from school avoidance to social media use.