BHT 2023 —  Must-See Talks and Networking Events for Mental HealthTech Founders

BHT2023 is a promising event bringing together the best and brightest innovators in the behavioral health and mental healthtech space.

This year's event will features diverse participants, including health plans, health systems, employers, benefits consultants, digital health companies, investors, policy and advocacy organizations, and more.

We're headed to the event in Arizona, and we've put together a guide to help mental healthtech founders make the most of BHT2023.

Also, we know these types of events can be tiring, which is why we're hosting a wine-tasting and investor Q&A after Thursday's activities.

So, join us for a glass of wine, meet investors, and chat with like-minded mental healthtech founders.

You never know who you might meet!

Wednesday, November 15th, 2023

Young Innovators In Behavioral Health Awards

  • Time: 8 am
  • Location: Track 1


The event starts Wednesday morning with Solome Tibebu of Going Digital: Behavioral Health Tech presenting the Young Innovators in Behavioral Health Awards. Solome is an investor and behavioral health technology strategist passionate about frontier technologies.

Maternal Mental Health: Promoting Health Across Generations

  • Time: 11 am

  • Location: Track 4



  • Nancy Byatt, D.O., M.S., MBA, DFAPA, FACLP, UMass Chan Medical School
  • Malekeh Amini, MBA, Trayt Health
  • Sarah Mallard Wakefield, MD, Texas Tech University



  • Marnie Hayutin, Ritz Communications

These speakers will use their 45-minute session to delve into the intersection of maternal well-being and its profound impact on future generations, presented by experts in the field. Could be helpful and informative for founders in this space.

Tech and Child Mental Health: A Strategic Imperative for Health Plans and Employers

  • Time: 11:50 am
  • Location: Track 1



  • Jennifer Plasse-Puzey, MBA, CVS Health
  • Myra Altman, PhD, Brightline


More than ever, addressing children’s mental health is imperative. Led by experts from Brightline & CVS Health, the session explores the role of technology in improving child mental health. As the significance of children’s well-being in the digital era grows, this talk sheds light on how health plans and employers can leverage technology to support the mental health needs of the youngest generation.

Exploring AI-Enabled Suicide Prevention and Measurement-Based Care Innovations

  • Time: 11:50
  • Location: Track 4



  • Kristin Tugman, PhD, CRC, LPC, Prudential
  • Julia Kastner, NeuroFlow
This discussion explores the integration of AI in suicide prevention and mental health care, shedding light on innovative solutions that leverage AI to enhance suicide prevention strategies and provide measurement-based care. Speakers will discuss how AI can help in early identification, intervention, and ongoing support for at-risk individuals, ultimately improving mental health outcomes.

How Do We Know Digital Mental Health Is Working? Top Clinical Leaders Weigh In

  • Time: 11:50
  • Location: Track 3



  • Yavar Moghimi, MD, AmeriHealth Caritas
  • Megan Jones Bell, PsyD, Google
  • Jenna Carl, PhD, Big Health
  • Anthony Sossong, MD, MS, Amwell
  • Stephen Schueller, PhD, University of California Irvine
  • Nikole Benders-Hadi, MD, Talkspace


Featuring notable industry experts, this session evaluates the effectiveness of digital mental health solutions in today’s landscape. With technology’s increasing role in mental health, they discuss the importance of data-driven assessments and the collaboration between clinical expertise and technology to ensure these solutions provide genuine benefits to those seeking support.

Enabling Scalable Innovative Solutions for Youth Mental Health

  • Time: 1:20
  • Location: Track 4



  • Carmen Parker-Bradshaw, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
  • Nicoletta Tessler, PsyD, MBA, BeMe Health

This session explores the development of scalable and innovative solutions to address the mental health needs of young individuals. Featuring BeMe Health, Blue Cross, and Blue Shield speakers, the discussion delves into strategies for making effective mental health support accessible to a broader youth population.

Evidence-Based Eating Disorder Care to Drive Access

  • Time: 1:55
  • Location: Track 4



  • Kristina Saffran, Equip Health
  • Caroline Carney, MD, MSc, FAPA, FAMP, CPHQ, Magellan Health
  • Pooja Mittal, DO, HealthNet
  • Deborah Fernandez-Turner, DO, AETNA / CVS Health

In the session, led by experts from Equip Health, Magellan Health, and AETNA, attendees will gain insights into evidence-based approaches for improving access to care for individuals with eating disorders. The discussion will explore technological strategies and solutions to ensure those in need receive adequate support and treatment, addressing a critical issue in today’s healthcare landscape.

Value-Based Care in Behavioral Health: Measuring the Impact on Total Health

  • Time: 1:55
  • Location: Track 3



  • Patrick Mobley, Vivid Health
  • Katie DiPerna Cook, Headspace

This session, featuring a notable speaker from Headspace, delves into value-based care in behavioral health, examining its influence on overall health outcomes. Attendees will gain insights into strategies and measurements to enhance behavioral health services and improve patient outcomes. 

Will Clinicians in Leadership Roles Save Mental HealthTech?

  • Time: 2:15
  • Location: Track 5 (CEs)



  • David Cooper, PsyD, Global Mental Health Teladoc Health
  • Kay Nikiforova, MA, Violet Health
  • C. Vaile Wright, PhD, American Psychological Association
  • Jessica Jackson, PhD, APA

Here, prominent industry speakers delve into the role of clinicians in leadership positions within the mental healthtech sector. The talk explores how these professionals can play a pivotal role in advancing the field, leveraging their expertise to drive innovation and improve the accessibility and effectiveness of mental health services. An informative session for those interested in the intersection of clinical expertise and technology in mental healthcare.

Tech-Forward Seniors: Embracing Digital Mental Health Solutions for Aging Populations

  • Time: 2:45
  • Location: Track 4



  • Helena Plater-Zyberk, Supportiv
  • Michael Tilton, Humana
  • Marlo Murray, Cigna
  • Abeer Jaber, MBA, OptumHealth

This session focuses on the positive impact of digital mental health solutions for seniors, highlighting the benefits of technology in addressing the mental health needs of the aging population. This could be a valuable discussion for founders interested in enhancing mental well-being among seniors through innovative tech solutions.

Why & How Clinical Science Should Go Beyond Consult Roles and Be Embedded in Product Development

  • Time: 3:30
  • Location: Track 5 (CEs)



  • Jessica Flannery, PhD, Limbix


This talk explores the exciting prospect of integrating clinical science into the development of mental health products. Attendees can expect a stimulating discussion on how clinical expertise can be instrumental in shaping innovative solutions. A fun session for those interested in the dynamic intersection of clinical science and product development in mental healthcare.

Thursday, November 16th, 2023

From Likes to Life: How Social Media Impacts Youth Mental Health

  • Time: 9:00 am
  • Location: Track 5 (CEs)



  • Anum Ali, LPC, NCC, Lyra Health

This talk addresses the contemporary concern of how social media affects the mental health of young individuals. Attendees will gain valuable insights into the impact of social media on youth well-being and how to navigate these challenges. Informative for founders seeking to understand and address the intersection of social media and youth mental health in today’s digital age.

Innovative Pathways to Unleash Mental Healthcare Access: Redefining Solutions for All

  • Time: 9 am
  • Location: Track 4



  • Oleg Tarkovsky, MBA, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
  • Kristian Ranta, Meru Health
  • Sushant Gupta, Meomind
  • Jon Gordon, HC9
  • Ellen Frank, PhD, HealthRhythms, Inc.
  • Mainul Mondal, Ellipsis

This talk explores innovative pathways to broaden access to mental healthcare, offering a fresh perspective on redefining solutions for all. With a lineup of diverse industry experts, attendees will gain valuable insights into the future of mental healthcare, its accessibility, and innovative strategies that promise to make a difference.

Beyond Symptom Reduction: The Future of Mental Health Outcomes

  • Time: 9 am
  • Location: Track 2



  • Jessica Watrous, PhD, Modern Health
  • Natalie Walker, Stitch Fix
  • Marissa Plescia, MedCity News
  • Alyson Watson, Modern Health
  • Carrie Khan, MS, WTW

This talk focuses on the future of mental health outcomes, going beyond mere symptom reduction. By bringing together experts from various fields, this discussion explores innovative approaches to mental healthcare that prioritize holistic well-being and improved patient outcomes.

Addressing the Mental Health Crisis In Our Country: Scalable Suicide Prevention Solutions

  • Time: 10:20
  • Location: Track 1



  • Jamie Evans, MD, MPH, ArrayBC
  • Cara McNulty, DPA, CVS Health
  • Caroline Fenkel, DSW, LCSW, Charlie Health
  • Mimi Winsberg, MD, Brightside
  • Shirley Bergin, Going Digital Health
  • Wendy Farmer, MBA, Elevance Health


This important topic of conversation, featuring prominent experts from mental healthtech organizations, addresses the pressing issue of the mental health crisis in our country, specifically focusing on scalable suicide prevention solutions. Good panel here. 

Are we there yet? Ensuring digital innovation drives greater access to behavioral healthcare

  • Time: 11:10
  • Location: Track 1



  • Shana Hoffman, Lucet
  • Erin Boyd, Talkspace
  • Dave Kerrigan, BenefitPitch
  • Melissa Reilly, Evernorth Health Services
  • Danielle Senn, Gallagher


The discussion led by industry experts revolves around the ongoing efforts to expand access to behavioral health services through technology and how these innovations are making a difference. This is a good conversation for founders interested in improving access to mental health care in today’s digital age.

What's Next for Digital Mental Health: Lessons Learned and Opportunities Ahead

  • Time: 11:10
  • Location: Track 3



  • Matthew Sopcich, Teladoc
  • Tracy Rico, MHA, RN, Superior Centene
An interesting discussion delving into the rapidly evolving landscape of digital mental health. With Teladoc and Superior Centene speakers sharing their experiences and insights, attendees will gain valuable knowledge about the lessons learned in this field and the potential opportunities ahead. 

Breaking Through the Digital Health Saturation: Harnessing Science as a Competitive Edge

  • Time: 1:35
  • Location: Track 3



  • Kate Wolin, ScD, Pace Healthcare Capital
  • Lisa Padilla, PhD, RAND Corporation
  • Jennifer Huberty, PhD, Fit Minded Inc
  • Pushkar Joshi, PhD, OneMind
This discussion explores the challenge of navigating the saturated digital health landscape and how incorporating scientific rigor can provide a competitive advantage. By harnessing the power of science, industry leaders can create innovative and effective solutions that stand out in the crowded digital health sector. 

Addiction and Recovery Update 2023: The Latest Clinical Takeaways from Neuroscience Research

  • Time: 3:30
  • Location: Track 5 (CEs)



  • Kevin McCauley, Meadows Behavioral Healthcare
In this talk, attendees will gain insights into the latest clinical findings derived from neuroscience research in addiction and recovery. This could be a useful update for founders in the addiction and mental healthtech space.

Mental HealthTech Founders Wine-Tasting and Investor Q&A

  • Time: 5:30 – 7:30
  • Location: 6177 North 29th Place, Phoenix, AZ 85016
  • Transportation: Free shuttle to and from BHT. 

Join us for an exciting evening of wine tasting and insightful discussions at our Mental HealthTech Founders wine tasting and networking happy hour

Enjoy a variety of exquisite wines (non-alcoholic options offered) while meeting other founders in the mental healthtech space.

At this event, you’ll have the opportunity to engage in an informal Q&A session with investors who are interested in supporting innovative mental health startups. 

Whether you’re a founder, investor, or simply passionate about mental health technology, this event offers a unique chance to network and gain valuable insights on the state of the mental healthtech industry.

The event is hosted inside the beautiful Biltmore Courts neighborhood, just a quarter mile walk from the conference center. 



5:30 PM – 6:00 PM

Networking & Snacks

6:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Investor Q&A

6:30 PM – 7:00 PM

Sommelier-led Wine Tasting

7:00 PM – 7:30 PM


Friday, November 17th, 2023

Investing in Mental Health and SUD in 2023: VC's Outlook on Behavioral

  • Time: 8:30 am
  • Location: Track 2


One of our most anticipated talks at BHT2023, this session has a great panel of industry experts, including Holly Maloney from General Catalyst, Liam Donohue from .406 Ventures, Bill Geary from Flare Capital, and Matthew Holt from The Health Care Blog. 

This session offers a unique opportunity to gain deep insights into the future of behavioral health investments, making it a must-attend for mental healthtech founders at this event. 

Social Media and Other Scary Things Impacting Youth Mental Health

  • Time: 8:30 am
  • Location: Track 4



We are highlighting this talk as another must-attend on the final day featuring a brilliant panel of experts, including Aaron Patton from BlueCross BlueShield MA, Danish Munir from GreyMatter, Derek Baird from BeMe, Trina Histon, PhD, from Woebot Health, and Steve Turney from Mental Health Marketing. 

These industry speakers will delve into the crucial topic of how modern technology and social media affect the mental health of young individuals, making it a vital discussion for founders in this area. Don’t miss this one! 

"Failed Promise" or Unreasonable Expectations? The Promise of Digital Mental Health

  • Time: 9:20
  • Location: Track 1



  • Omar Manejwala, MD, DarioHealth
This talk deep dives into the potential and promises of digital mental health services and examines whether these promises have been fulfilled or if expectations have been unrealistic. This could be a thought-provoking and informative discussion digital mental health founders. 

Regulatory Wrap-up: Digital Behavioral Health Changes in 2023

  • Time: 10:20
  • Location: Track 1



  • Lauren Carboni, Foley & Lardner, LLP
  • Sunny Levine, Foley
In this discussion, experts will comprehensively overview the regulatory changes affecting digital behavioral health in 2023. They will address the evolving landscape of regulations and their implications for the industry. This session could be helpful to get up-to-date with the latest legal and regulatory developments in the digital behavioral health sector.

Funding Mental Health: Exploring Current Trends and Implications of M&A and VC in Behavioral Health

  • Time: 10:20
  • Location: Track 2



  • Chris Dooney, UHS
  • Chris Rogers, Zielger
  • Stacy DiStefano, CFHS
  • Obadiah Sang, MBA, Independence Blue Cross
  • Nawal Roy, Holmusk
This session delves into the current trends and implications of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and venture capital (VC) investments in the behavioral health sector, offering insights into the evolving funding landscape for mental health initiatives. 

Featuring industry experts, this sessions provides a comprehensive understanding of the financial dynamics in behavioral health, making it a valuable chat for those seeking financial insights into mental health services. A great way yo round off what promises to be a fantastic event by BHT!