Talkspace, the global leader in digital behavioral health, today announced that it will donate 1,000 months of free online therapy to medical workers all over the U.S. who are helping respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Effective today, March 19th, frontline medical workers nationwide can access a free month of online therapy via Talkspace’s Unlimited Messaging Plus plan, which includes unlimited text, video and audio messaging with a licensed therapist.
Medical professionals are facing unprecedented stress now more than ever as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. continues to soar. Even with precautionary measures to free up intensive care units in preparation for an influx of COVID-19 patients, public health experts warn that the demand for intensive care beds could far exceed the number U.S. hospitals will be able to provide.
While the impact of COVID-19 has highlighted the vulnerabilities of our health care system, placing American lives at risk, issues related to high costs and capacity have long posed a threat to the system’s ability to provide care at scale. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, nearly half of the physicians in the United States exhibited signs of burnout. As the coronavirus Pandemic continues, burnout and stress will undoubtedly increase, and could have a significant impact on the mental health and well-being of medical workers.
To help nurses, doctors and social workers cope with the anxiety and pressure associated with COVID-19, Talkspace is providing 1,000 free months of messaging therapy for medical and healthcare workers. To sign up, healthcare workers can register via the app ( Google Play or App Store ) or website by providing their NPI and state of residence for verification. Once verified, they will gain access to Talkspace’s Unlimited Messaging Plus plan.
“The mental health of our doctors, nurses, social workers and other health personnel is paramount now more than ever,” says Talkspace CEO and co-founder Oren Frank. “They are on the frontlines of a rapidly growing pandemic, putting their own health and safety at risk to save others affected by the outbreak. At Talkspace, we feel it’s our responsibility to ensure they can access the care they need, in order to provide the care America needs from them right now.”
In addition to the 1,000 free months of therapy, Talkspace has called on its network of thousands of therapy providers to donate their time for additional free services to medical personnel. For every` donation by a therapist, Talkspace will provide a 100 percent donation match. Additionally, Talkspace invites companies and organizations to donate additional therapy months that Talkspace will also match 100 percent.
After seeing a 25 percent increase in demand since mid-February, which has been accelerating, Talkspace has opened free tools to provide support and guidance including therapist-led Facebook support groups and a COVID-19 channel on its Instagram account where people can ask questions related to coronavirus using the “Questions” feature on Instagram Stories. A 16-day coronavirus program has also been incorporated to each Talkspace subscription.
Talkspace has served over 1.5 million people to date. This offering comes at the heels of expanding in-home access with its Amazon Alexa skill integration, offering even more ways to access mental health care. To date, the company has raised a total of $110 million, with its latest Series D round announced in 2019.