Nov 1, 2020
Today’s guest is Megan Bell, Chief Strategy and Science Officer
at Headspace where she directs a team focused on global corporate
strategy, technology strategy, and new ventures including
Headspace’s digital therapeutics subsidiary, Headspace Health.
She also oversees medical and clinical affairs, behavioral
science and clinical research, and design research including
implementation of a human-centered design process in product and
Prior to Headspace, she was chief science officer and scientific
founder at digital mental health startup, Lantern, whose core IP
went on to become part of Omada Health, Ginger, and others.
As part of her incredible, pioneering digital health research,
she developed and validated over 20 digital health
interventions. Megan is an adjunct clinical assistant
professor at Stanford as well.
You can connect with Megan here: Megan on LinkedIn,
HERE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS WE TALKED
- Megan Bell joins us to talk about her background in the
behavioral health world as a family member and daughter of someone
who experienced severe mental health issues chronically.
Additionally, as someone who has recovered from her own mental
- Megan shares how her past experiences led her to be an advocate
for others who faced similar struggles and how she was determined
to change the culture around mental health. Specifically, she
wanted to focus primarily on prevention strategies.
- When asked about her role in Headspace, Megan shares that she
has been there for four years and how the company has evolved from
a startup since she has been there. She shares that while she has
had the title of many different roles over her time with the
company that the passion remains the same: to make preventative
mental health care more accessible to people.
- We asked Megan about evidence-based care and why it’s so
important. She shares that it requires commitment from all involved
and holds them accountable for the help they are wanting to provide
to members. Not only are they focused on solutions to the problem
that your customers are having, but you are focused on the
effectiveness of your solutions when you have evidence-based
- How does Headspace measure to determine their effectiveness?
Megan explains that Headspace is focused on resilience to stress
and reduction of stress and that there is great evidence that
mindfulness-based interventions can improve these areas.
- Megan talks about entrepreneurs who are interested in
innovating in the mental health space. She gives advice to those
interested to pay close attention to who your target audience is,
how you can sustain your company, and how many different things you
want to introduce to the market at once when you are just starting
- We discuss development teams and how it takes more than just
passion to make changes in the mental health space. You need
expertise in order to make a product that is beneficial to the
- Megan shares about the importance of changing the culture
around mental health and addressing mental health when one is
healthy, not just when it becomes a disorder.
- Finally, Megan discusses the ethics behind supporting a company
that works in the mental health space and making sure you are
choosing to invest in something that has processes in place for
risk management, quality assurance, and overall choosing to support
something that is making the world a better place.
Connect with the Stigma Podcast in the following
ways: Patreon, Website, Twitter, Facebook,
Connect with host Stephen Hays here: Stephen Hays Personal Website,
What If Ventures (Mental Health