We welcome Rebecca Egger and Dr. Helen Egger to the podcast. Rebecca’s the CEO, and Dr. Egger is the Chief Medical Officer of Little Otter Health. Rebecca’s also Dr. Egger’s daughter. Together, they started Little Otter, a company that takes a family-first approach to mental health care.
On the inspiration for the company
[7:31] Little Otter was born out of the experience with my son’s illness. And just to be clear, it presented with psychotic and other neuropsychiatric symptoms– and with autoimmune encephalitis. And so again, my child is alive because I was his mother and I knew that this is not what schizophrenia looks like. This is not what bipolar disorder looks like. I was able to advocate and get him deep care, months in the hospital.
On the name of the company
[10:23] Sea otters are very sweet creatures. I mean, we’ve all seen the videos of them holding hands while they’re sleeping. They are always in these family units and pods. Right? So we felt like it was a great representation of what we were trying to build.
On customer experience
[14:40] When people join Little Otter, you do the assessment. Then they do a welcome call with one of our parenting specialists to hear about what the challenges are, and then are referred to care based on what we learn. And then a full diagnostic assessment is done.
We have over 30% of our families are working with more than one little oter provider because we provide child therapy, child psychiatry, parenting, learning, with Master’s level folks who are delivering evidence-based parenting guidance and support.
On the societal cost of untreated pediatric mental health disorders
[17:50] The cost is astronomical. We know one out of five children has an impairing mental health disorder. We know that in ages two to six years old, the rate of impairing mental health disorders is the same as in older ages. It’s a different pattern of disorders, but the overall rate is the same. And we know that when children have mental health disorders that are untreated, it has a huge impact on their ability to function and develop.