May 22, 2018

“Throughout my career, I struggled with depression and anxiety at various times, and I found it so difficult to get the help I needed,” said Phelps. “As I started opening up and talking about my issues, I felt strength, not vulnerability; and when I discovered I could speak with a therapist by text, web, or video—wherever I might be—it was an amazing feeling of empowerment. I want to help others who may be dealing with the same mental health challenges I have experienced and show them that help is so much easier to access now, and more affordable.”

Today’s announcement is the evolution of a shared commitment between Talkspace and Phelps to fight the stigma surrounding mental health and the forces that keep millions of people from trying therapy. Additionally, Phelps will join the Talkspace Board of Advisors, which is comprised of a small group of industry experts, psychologists, and corporate CEOs, to help advise the company on its mental health strategy.

“Talkspace is pleased to have Michael Phelps join the team,” said Talkspace CEO Oren Frank. “His deep knowledge of the mental health advocacy world, as well as his commitment to data-driven improvements in the field, will be invaluable to the Talkspace Advisory Board as we work to make Talkspace a key part of how people manage their mental health. This initiative demonstrates Michael’s commitment to breaking down the stigma around therapy and illustrates how this partnership will help eliminate barriers for those in need.”

Talkspace therapy is evidence-based and an affordable and convenient form of psychotherapy available to individuals and organizations. With Talkspace, users can send their therapist a message whenever they are near a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Conversations carry over seamlessly across devices and are protected with banking-grade encryption to ensure privacy and confidentiality. All clinicians on the Talkspace platform are licensed and vetted and the platform has been developed under the careful eye of clinicians and researchers from top universities and health centers.

“Michael Phelps’s powerful personal story is an incredible vehicle for educating Americans about the importance of mental health, and for erasing the stigma that has kept so many from seeking therapy,” said Talkspace VP of Marketing Michael Kuznetsov. “All too often, we forget that mental illness does not discriminate, and that you can be affected no matter your background, occupation, or level of success. Michael’s open and honest story makes it clear that we can all benefit from therapy, no matter who we are.”