Jun 4, 2015 ยท 3 minutes

Although best known for leading Facebook through its IPO as it chief financial officer, David Ebersman spent the majority of his days employed in the health and life sciences space, working for biotech company Genetech for 15 years. After leaving Facebook last year, Ebersman, who said at the time that the announcement of his departure was made that he was returning to the healthcare space, has remained under the radar. Until today.

"I spent most of my career working at Genetech, in healthcare," said Ebersman in an interview this morning. "What I enjoyed most about it was the very real sense that you were helping people who were sick and making a difference."

With the announcement of his new venture, Lyra Health, Ebersman steps back into the the healthcare and wellness world with a company aimed at improving the access to support and care for people suffering from behavioral health issues like depression, addiction, and anxiety.

The main thrust behind the company is that while there is a growing population of people in need of mental and behavioral health coverage, the resources to help just aren't readily available.

"There are not a lot of conditions that affect as many people today as the categories of behavioral health that we are talking about," Ebersman said. "The depression, the anxiety, the substance abuse can be a dominant feature of their lives...but the medical system is really difficult to use for those suffering from these behavioral health issues."

"People go undiagnosed, or they get diagnosed but they find themselves in a system that is really hard to navigate, or can't find care at all, or the right care for what they need," he said. "A lot of time people don't get treated or get they get treated with something that isn't helping them."

Ebersman added that there are treatments available that can work for people suffering from substance abuse, or depression or anxiety, but that we do a terrible job getting those resources to those people. Which is where Lyra comes in.

The company hopes to build an experience with patients that is more personalized and both meets the specific needs of individuals and is most likely to help their issue. Among the those solutions are analytical models to identify people at risk, software that match patients to the best behavioral health providers and treatments based on their own needs, a platform that can evaluate whether or not care is working, specific tools for doctors, and resources to help guide patients through their various treatments.

"If you're doing something that is not working, we have the ability to change your care to something that will actually help you," Ebersman said.

Lyra is both necessary and quite a challenging proposition. Talking to Ebersman, you get the sense that he is personally devoted to making an impact for those suffering from addiction, depression, and other behavioral health issues.

After talking to him, it seems that for Ebersman, building Lyra is a major passion project. It's certainly quite different than being Facebook's chief financial officer.

Ebersman took a fair amount of criticism from some circles for the some of the problems with Facebook's less than spectacular initial foray into the public market. Many blamed the CFO with valuing shares too high leading to poor start, in terms of its stock price, and other issues that surrounded when its appearance on the Nasdaq exchange.

"Facebook was such a wonderful place to work," said Ebersman. "And what was so interesting about it was watching how technology can be used to make industries work better and to make the world connect in ways you just couldn't do not too long ago," he added.

"I'm super excited about this though," Ebersman said. "I haven't found the right word for it, but sometimes you find yourself working on exactly what you want to be working on."