Maro’s new app looks to help schools screen kids for depression and anxiety • TechCrunch
Maru She developed a platform that helps families and schools have challenging conversations about mental health. The company, which was shown as part of Battlefield 200 at TechCrunch Disrupt, released its first product, Maru parents, In 2020. Now, the company is preparing to launch Maro for Schools next week to help schools screen students for anxiety and depression, with parental consent.
Based in Tennessee, the startup was founded by Kenzi Butera Davis, who originally planned to get Marrow into schools to start helping children deal with mental health issues. However, these plans were halted due to the onset of the pandemic in 2020 as schools had to focus on the internet. Then Maro decided to bring her platform to homes with the Maro for Parents app. The app includes, among other things, digital modules and an AI-powered robot to help parents discuss difficult topics with their children.
Although Maro for Schools officially launches next week, the company says 350 schools have already registered to screen 100,000 students in 40 states for anxiety and depression. The program will be accessed through an annual subscription fee, but the company has not disclosed the price.
With the upcoming launch of Maro for Schools, the platform aims to provide teachers with accessible lesson plans on mental health. Maro for School also provides teachers with access to resources on sex education, substance abuse, and more. The platform also allows for simplified communication between teachers and advisors, where teachers may be the first to find out if a child could benefit from help. If a counselor thinks a child needs additional care, Maru will connect them to referral partners who provide virtual care.
Maro for School does not offer virtual care, but its purpose is to identify children at risk early and then connect them to virtual care teams.
“We have created a platform to screen children and then refer them to clinical teams that will facilitate and provide care for the child,” Maru’s chief medical officer, Tariq Chowdhury, told TechCrunch. “We basically operate as a marketplace for pediatric and mental health development. We don’t want to deal directly with treatment because we don’t want to weaken our company.”
The launch of Maro for School comes in the same month as the US Preventive Task Force recommended Screening for anxiety in children aged 8 to 18 years.
Maru is in the midst of raising $1.5 million from the pre-incorporation round and plans to use the investment to expand its existing team of 11 people and build its product further. Maru expects to close the tour next quarter.