Late last year, Reno, Nev., Mayor Hillary Schieve proposed a novel idea to try to meet the mental health needs of her community: The city would spend $1.3 million of expiring coronavirus relief funding on virtual therapy through the app Talkspace.
With the exception of young children, every resident would have free access.
When I hear “licensed” therapists, psychologists or psychiatrists protect things such as TalkSpace my head just about explodes.
Having personal knowledge of some of these “experts” with PhDs, Masters etc I can tell you one is a flat out quack, one a narcissistic con man preacher-lite and another is a major tax evader. There are good ones out there, don’t get me wrong. But am not interested in hearing about how great “real” therapists are in general.
I think that platforms like TalkSpace are critical to support the impending healthcare crisis. Inevitably the platform will need to find a way to adapt and adopt a solution to support local therapists.
“We would never leave people hanging,” said Hirschhorn. “We would never cut off therapy to those that are currently receiving therapy without giving them a number of options.”
Meaning, they’re welcome to pay for it themselves! Reno just spent $1.3 million on a trial program for the Talkspace New Business department.
Given the extreme shortage of qualified mental health professionals everywhere, I can’t imagine who must be handling these calls and providing these services.
“need that has been unmet in the marketplace” —- “the marketplace’ — well, that says it all, doesn’t it, in the capitalist, commercial, market economy and political space. That shows where the priorities are.
I tried a rival of Talkspace when I was in an anxiety crisis. I won’t be using it again. Having been in traditional therapy throughout the years, this felt like talking to a not too bright friend I was amazed at her bringing her own anecdotes into it, ones I considered off the wall. She was in FL me in CA so there may have been regional misunderstandings. What a waste + not cheap. In my case not worth it.
I am so surprised that any city leader would seek advice about providing mental health services from a friend and other city leaders rather than mental health professionals in their own city. I am also very surprised that the county provides no mental health services. This sounds like a TV show inn the 40s or 50s where no one mentions depression. I wonder why after the death of her friends, the mayor did not seek services of the most obvious agency…hospice and palliative care who provide grief counseling. There has been a history of immense need for mental health awareness,access to treatment in this country forever but the pandemic has pushed disparities to the forefront. In the end I suppose this may be a bittersweet event hopefully leading to comprehensive mental health programs all over the state. It will be a long journey but it sounds to me as if there are many committed mental health professionals to see it through as well as the mayor in Reno.
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