As mental health issues like anxiety and depression continue to rise in the adolescent community, Talkspace, the global leader in online therapy, announced today it will be extending its services to teens ages 13-17. Previously, due to legal requirements, the platform was only available for adults ages 18 and older. Now, with parental consent, teens can connect with a licensed therapist in their state via smartphone or computer — from anywhere, at any time.
“It’s vital that today’s teens learn to be honest and open about their feelings, and comfortable seeking help when it’s needed,” said Neil Leibowitz, MD, JD and Chief Medical Officer of Talkspace. “With social media, school shootings, and cyberbullying, adolescents today are dealing with a whole new set of developmental challenges. Being proactive about teens’ mental health is more important than ever.”
The launch of Talkspace for Teens comes on the heels of another exciting announcement for Talkspace, as founders Roni and Oren Frank were recently included on Time Magazine’s Top 50 Most Influential People in Healthcare. By expanding its reach to include teens ages 13-17, Talkspace is demonstrating its ongoing commitment to the company’s mission: affordable and accessible therapy for all. Given that 1 in 5 children (ages 13-18) have, or will have, a serious mental illness, Talkspace for Teens is helping to fill a major gap in mental healthcare. While 50% of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, up to 75% develop by age 24. There is a unique opportunity for young adults and their parents/guardians to adopt a more proactive approach to mental health. Talkspace for Teens hopes to be part of this approach, offering young adults the ability to receive professional counseling without scheduling hassles or extra commutes.
“Over the years, thousands of teens have reached out to us, hoping to use the Talkspace platform. It’s amazing to see we are now able to give this demographic access with parental consent. It’s a huge step toward our mission of affordable and accessible therapy for all,” said Talkspace CEO and Co-Founder, Oren Frank. “For teens, online counseling is a natural fit, as it can be done from their smartphones and doesn’t require traveling to an office for a standing appointment. Talkspace can supplement the mental health resources teens may receive in schools, and provides a safe, stigma- and judgement-free space with a licensed professional.”
With the launch of Talkspace for Teens, Talkspace is announcing a partnership with the non-profit mental health organization Give an Hour to offer teens in need 500 months of free therapy. Give an Hour, which provides free mental healthcare to at-risk populations, shares Talkspace’s overall mission to expand access to mental healthcare, and recognizes the crisis of teen mental health happening today. Talkspace is humbled to be joining forces with Give an Hour’s Founder and President Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, who is a child psychologist and has a deep personal connection to this audience.
Talkspace for Teens will be available at the same, affordable price-point as the standard Talkspace offering at $196/month. With this plan, users can access their dedicated therapists via text, audio, picture, or video messaging. In states that require parental consent, Talkspace has developed a process that meets all necessary legal requirements. As with adults, Talkspace’s services are confidential but not anonymous, and all teen clients are required to provide Talkspace with emergency contact information.