Joon Care Shows High Effectiveness in Treating Depression and Anxiety

It should come as no surprise that there is a mental health crisis among teens and young adults. More than 25 million 13-24 year-olds in the U.S. alone will experience mental health problems this year. Depression and anxiety are the most common, with nearly 1 in 7 teens experiencing clinically significant depression and up to 1 in 4 reporting clinically significant social or generalized anxiety. Suicide is now the 2nd leading cause of death among teens and young adults.

Since founding Joon Care, our team has been hard at work creating a new model for adolescent and young adult mental health care. Our innovative approach combines the best of live therapy with a digital solution to support mental health skill-building. Our clients have regular, scheduled, one-on-one sessions with a dedicated therapist trained in working with youth. And, between sessions, the Joon app reinforces the work of therapy with regular assessment, on-demand relaxation and coping resources, skill-building tools, and notifications to keep on track.

Our outcome data shows that Joon Care works

Joon Care meets or exceeds industry standards for outpatient therapy for adolescent depression and anxiety. One way of examining effectiveness is whether symptoms decrease with treatment. At Joon Care, our clients show on average a 35% reduction in daily depression symptoms and a 33% reduction in daily anxiety symptoms after treatment. ¹

Another way to examine treatment effectiveness is whether clients who start treatment meeting diagnostic criteria for anxiety or depression improve such that they no longer meet criteria for that diagnosis. At Joon, more than half of our clients meet criteria for a depression or anxiety disorder when they start therapy. But after treatment with Joon Care, more than 50% of clients have recovered from anxiety and more than 45% have recovered from depression.  This meets or exceeds the recovery rates found in published studies of evidence-based treatment for youth anxiety and depression. ²

Percentage of Joon Care clients with clinical anxiety and depression
“Clinical” is defined as being above the published clinical cutoff on the GAD7 or PHQ9 respectively. “Recovered” is defined as being below the published clinical cutoff for at least 50% of the last 4 weeks of treatment. Outcomes will vary and there are no guarantees as to recovery rates for individual clients.

Percentage of Joon Care clients with severe anxiety and depression
“Severe” is defined as being above the published clinical cutoff for severe symptoms on the GAD7 or PHQ9 respectively. “Recovered” is defined as being below the published clinical cutoff for at least 50% of the last 4 weeks of treatment. Outcomes will vary and there are no guarantees as to recovery rates for individual clients.

Schedule a free consultation. Speak with one of our care coordinators and learn more about working with a Joon therapist.

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Why do Teens and Young Adults Need a Unique Mental Health Care Approach?

Adolescents, young adults and their families face many barriers to accessing high quality care, including therapist availability, cost, and stigma. One persistent challenge is that all too often treatment programs attempt to take therapies designed for children or older adults and simply apply them to this population.

But adolescents and young adults are a unique mental health population that require a specialized mental health solution:

  • Teens and young adults are more likely to display co-occurring symptoms across common mental health categories such as depression, anxiety, self-injury, substance use, trauma, and other conditions. This means that traditional therapies that focus on one condition (e.g., treatment for depression) are unlikely to appropriately address all of the adolescent’s needs.
  • Teens and young adults experience more flux and daily stress than adults. New and rapidly changing demands of school, peer relationships, sexual and gender identity, family conflict, and extracurricular activities mean that clinical needs may shift rapidly during treatment. Traditional treatments often lack the flexibility to adequately respond to these changing needs.
  • The normal developmental tasks of adolescence can make teens and young adults resistant to care and hard to engage. This is an age when youth are trying to form their own personal sense of identity and become emotionally independent from their parents and other adults. As such, they are naturally wary of adult input, often believe adults cannot understand their unique perspectives, and are highly skeptical of anything that feels like a “prepackaged” or formulaic solution to their mental health problems. Standardized treatments that fail to take into account adolescents’ unique identities and sense of self will inevitably be met with skepticism and resistance.
  • While teens and young adults are developmentally seeking emotional independence and autonomy, their brains are still catching up to these developmental goals. One of the reasons for such high rates of mental health problems in adolescence is the developmental asynchrony between the emotional intensity of the age with the relative lack of effective executive functioning skills to regulate emotions or stay on track toward goals. At the same time that they are seeking separation from adult input, teens and young adults often need external supports for tasks such as remembering appointments or completing assignments. Since the data is clear that between-session practice of therapy skills improves treatment outcomes, supporting adolescents in this practice is essential.  

That’s where Joon Care steps in – we are the first integrated mental health care solution that leverages technology to combine the best of live therapy with a qualified clinician with a mobile app that supports treatment with on-demand and customized skill-building tools. Joon Care provides evidence-based, skills-focused, and personalized care – all designed specifically for teens and young adults, and with the data to prove that it works.

¹ Anxiety and depression symptoms are assessed with the GAD-7 and PHQ-9 respectively.

² Kennard et al. (2009) reported recovery rates of 19% (after 12 weeks) and 27% (after 18 weeks) for outpatient CBT for youth depression; Kodal et al. (2017) reported recovery rate of 43% after outpatient CBT for youth anxiety.

May 3, 2021
Amy Mezulis, PhD | Co-Founder & Chief Clinical Officer

Amy Mezulis, PhD | Co-Founder & Chief Clinical Officer

Amy Mezulis, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist who received her BA from Harvard University and her MA and PhD in Clinical Psychology from University of Wisconsin – Madison. Dr. Mezulis provides services to older children, adolescents and adults utilizing an evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral approach that includes mindfulness and acceptance-based treatments. Dr. Mezulis has specialized training in mood and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, suicidality and self-injury, trauma, substance use, and adolescent development. She is Professor Emeritus at Seattle Pacific University, where she previously chaired the Clinical Psychology PhD program and continues to supervise doctoral trainees.

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