Charlie Health, first-of-its-kind virtual mental health clinic

Photo by Total Shape on Unsplash

Charlie Health, the first-of-its-kind virtual mental health clinic providing treatment programs for high-acuity patients, has announced the appointment of its co-founder, Carter Barnhart, as Chief Executive Officer. The announcement comes on the heels of Onex Corporation's completed acquisition of Newport Healthcare, where Barnhart served as Chief Experience Officer following its initial acquisition by The Carlyle Group in 2017.

Barnhart is well equipped with unique personal and professional experience to lead Charlie Health as it continues to combat the urgent youth mental health crisis. Barnhart has extensive knowledge that weaves together evidence-based treatment experience and compassionate care delivery.

Carter Barnhart

Nearly 15 years ago, Barnhart was admitted to Newport Academy's teen residential facility as one of their first patients after struggling with trauma and behavioral health challenges.

“After years of unsuccessful attempts to find help through local therapists and psychiatrists, my family made the difficult decision to send me to residential treatment," said Barnhart. “Newport was the first place I found connection and healing.

Two years after this life-changing experience, I reached out to the founder and CEO for the opportunity to intern." Over the next 11 years, Barnhart helped grow the company from 15 employees to over 2,000. By age 25, Barnhart became the youngest-ever female member of a Carlyle portfolio company C-suite.

“There are 10 million adolescents and young adults in the U.S. who struggle the way I did," said Barnhart. “The sad truth is that 90 percent of these families can't afford residential treatment and even if they could, nationwide waitlists prevent them from accessing the care they deserve. I knew from my own experience that I needed to build a solution that combined accessibility with high-quality care."

The company is now the first-ever virtual mental health clinic with the ability to provide access to millions experiencing mental health crises. Rather than group patients together based on their physical location, Charlie Health customizes comprehensive treatment plans by carefully matching patients in groups of peers with similar backgrounds, preferences, and needs. Patients are assigned to experienced, licensed therapists who specialize in their individual needs and leverage evidence-based approaches to allow healing from the comfort of home.

According to a report published by Mental Health in America, rates of suicidal ideation are highest among youth, especially LGBTQ+ youth. In September 2020, the report found that over half of 11-17-year-olds reported having thoughts of suicide or self-harm more than half of the days or nearly every day of the previous two weeks. Critically, of the youth who reported experiencing suicidal ideation from January to September 2020, approximately 1 in 3 identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

By partnering with key community stakeholders like hospitals, insurance companies, schools, and local therapists, Charlie Health provides treatment for clients who require more than weekly individual therapy sessions or who need support transitioning back into a home and school environment following hospital-based treatment. Since its launch in Montana last September, Charlie Health has treated hundreds of patients across the country.

“The situation is dire," said Barnhart. “We need a new approach to tackle the mental health crisis. We need to leverage technology that expands access without sacrificing high-quality care. Our clinical program is designed to foster sustainable healing, and we're excited to continue to serve youth and families across the country."

About Charlie Health

Charlie Health, founded in 2020, is the first-ever virtual mental health clinic for high-acuity patients, enabling increased access to care for millions. Charlie Health provides teens and young adults struggling with mental health and substance use disorders personalized Intensive Outpatient (IOP) treatment programs which consist of group therapy, individual therapy, family therapy, and psychiatric support. By providing quality, accessible behavioral health support, Charlie Health ensures that sustainable healing is available to all. To learn more, visit www.charliehealth.com.

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