Layla’s mission is to empower Canadians to take control of their mental health. We use patient-centric innovation to understand and address gaps in the ever-changing realities in the mental health space. Today, Layla is a platform that facilitates personalized individual, couples, family, and group therapy directly to the public as well as in collaboration with partners in the broader healthcare sector.

Group photo of Saretta Herman, Clinical Director, Charan Litt, Director, and Samer Abughannam, CEO

Mental health is complex, but finding the right care doesn’t have to be. The psychological health of Canadians has been sharply declining – 76% of millennials and Gen Z are at high risk of developing mental health challenges (Ipsos, 2021). And yet support is not being accessed quickly enough. Of our clients who are seeking therapy for the first time, a disproportionate amount (around 75%) are waiting longer than a year to access care. The reality is, stigma remains ever-present especially among specific populations such as men. Canadians are continuously identifying roadblocks to accessing the proper mental healthcare from significant wait times to a ‘one size fits all’ approach in a field that requires personalization. And many folks don’t know where to start.

Layla helps clients find the right therapist using a warm, simple, and quick process. The matching configuration combines clinical, logistical, and interpersonal fit in identifying therapist suggestions for the client. An algorithm prepares a preliminary plan, but a dedicated Care Coordinator reviews and validates each case and works collaboratively with the client on their pathway.

“In the long term, we want to deliver personalization and warmth at scale. This is hard, and it relies on our people and culture just as much as our product and operating model”

- – Samer Abughannam, CEO

”People want and need support but they don’t know how to find it. They want someone good who is experienced with what they’re facing. Our hope at Layla is for people to connect to the right support sooner and prevent a lot of pain for people who waited until things were at a breaking point”, highlights Saretta Herman, the Clinical Director at Layla.

The Layla team continues to build and expand their group therapy programs, with several new programs being released in 2022 in different provinces across Canada. Layla’s group programs are centered around a specific theme such as a difficult life experience, a health concern, a therapy modality, or a desired change. Group participants benefit from the tailored content, a therapist who specializes in this area, the alliance and community offered and a less frightening way to go to therapy.

“Our goal in Specialty Programs is to provide workers who have been injured on the job access to timely, client-centred mental health services to support them on their journey to healthier functioning and, ultimately, to a durable return to work.”

- – Dr. Barbara Virley, Manager, Clinical Services, Specialty Programs

In appreciation of the mind-body connection, Layla is partnering with other healthcare institutions such as Trillium Health Partners and LMC Healthcare to deliver mental health supports that supplement physical health treatment. Through a desire to support earlier interventions, Layla continues to explore ways to work closely with family physicians and clinics.

What started as a small operation out of Toronto, Ontario, Layla has quickly become a team of 30 staff and 120+ partner therapists. In 2022, Layla is looking to expand both geographically and with new services and is making a public effort to normalize group therapy, to change conversations around mental health and to reduce the pervasive stigma that prevents access to mental health care.

Many people feel stigma towards accessing therapy and often struggle in silence. 75% of our clients report they waited longer than a year before reaching out for help.

“At Layla, we believe human connection plays a fundamental role in helping create hope for the future and to unlock the benefits of therapy. Mental healthcare is still an underserved area that can be difficult to navigate, especially when it comes to finding the right care, personalized to the individual. Our mission is empower Canadians to take control of their mental health, and we’re excited to scale our therapy programs nationally”

- – Charan Litt, Director, Layla Therapy


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