Meet YC: Interview with Alex Alvarado of Daybreak Health (YC S20) | Summary and Q&A

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Meet YC: Interview with Alex Alvarado of Daybreak Health (YC S20)


Daybreak Health is building a digital mental health system to address the challenges of identifying, triaging, and providing affordable care for children and youth struggling with mental health issues.

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Key Insights

  • 🌍 The United States has around 20 million children and youth struggling with mental health issues, highlighting the urgent need for accessible and effective mental health care for this population.
  • 🏥 The identification and triaging of mental health problems in adolescents is a major challenge, with an average of 12 years passing between symptom onset and treatment.
  • ⚕️ Mental health treatment has historically been designed for adults and lacks integration with other stakeholders such as parents, schools, and family units, making it ineffective for children and adolescents.
  • 💰 The cost of mental health care, with therapy sessions costing up to $200, has been a barrier for many families, as it is usually not covered by insurance or available through school programming.
  • 📊 Finding the right target market and securing funding has been a challenge for Daybreak, as the buyer for mental health care for youth is complex, involving parents, public and insurance funding, and school districts.
  • 🚀 Daybreak has shifted to a blended B2B2C model, partnering with school districts and health plans to provide funding for their services and reach a wider range of children and families.
  • 🌱 There is a shift in societal attitudes towards mental health, with less stigma and increased openness, particularly among the younger generation (Gen Z), which gives hope for improved engagement and proactive care in the future.
  • 💸 Funding and support for addressing the youth mental health crisis are growing at the federal, state, and local levels, creating a unique opportunity for organizations like Daybreak to scale their services and meet the increasing demand.


hello i'm steven from artifact and today on meat yc i'm speaking with alex alvarado one of the founders of daybreak health daybreak has a really important mission and they're at a very exciting point in their journey as a company so without further ado here's alex my name is alex alvarado i'm the ceo at daybreak health where we're building the lead... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What are the three major challenges faced by Daybreak Health in addressing youth mental health?

The three major challenges faced by Daybreak Health in addressing youth mental health are the identification and triaging of mental health issues, the lack of mental health treatment designed specifically for children and adolescents, and the high cost of care. Identification and triaging are often difficult due to signals coming from multiple sources, limited knowledge and resources among pediatricians, and delayed intervention. Traditional mental health treatment was primarily designed for adults, and Daybreak Health aims to build a multiplayer therapy system that caters to the needs of children, involving parents, schools, and other stakeholders. Lastly, the cost of therapy sessions and limited insurance coverage have made mental health care unaffordable for many families, but Daybreak Health is working towards making high-quality mental health care accessible for free, regardless of socioeconomic background.

Q: How did Daybreak Health evolve its target audience and funding model over time?

Initially, Daybreak Health faced the challenge of identifying whom to market their solution to and whom to build it for. They started by marketing directly to teens but realized they lacked the buying power to make their own healthcare decisions. They then shifted their focus to marketing to parents, but affordability became a limiting factor. Eventually, Daybreak Health adopted a blended B2B2C model, where most of their funding comes from school districts and health plans. By catering to the needs of both youth and parents while securing funding from larger organizations, Daybreak Health found a more viable approach.

Q: What gives Alex Alvarado hope for the future of adolescent mental health?

Alex Alvarado finds hope in two key factors. Firstly, there is a shifting societal attitude towards mental health, particularly among Gen Z, who are open and vulnerable about their struggles. This willingness to engage with mental health is a positive sign for proactive efforts. Secondly, there is a significant increase in funding and support from governments at all levels, recognizing the urgent need to address the mental health crisis among youth. This combined societal and infrastructural readiness gives Alvarado a hopeful outlook.

Q: How does Daybreak Health plan to scale its services and reach more children?

Daybreak Health aims to expand beyond California and grow the business rapidly over the next 18 months. While scaling poses various challenges, such as team expansion and maintaining quality clinical product, the focus is on scaling up coverage. By securing partnerships with health plans and school districts, Daybreak Health intends to reach as many children as possible, ensuring high-quality mental health care is accessible to all.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Daybreak Health aims to solve the challenge of identifying and triaging mental health issues in children, who often go undetected for years before receiving treatment.

  • The company is focused on building a multiplayer therapy system that incorporates all stakeholders, including parents, schools, and healthcare providers, to address the unique needs of children and adolescents.

  • Daybreak Health is also working towards making high-quality mental healthcare accessible and affordable for every child, regardless of their socioeconomic background.

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