Online Unlimited Therapy Service Receives Capital Funding

May 19, 2014 9:00 AM

Image and video hosting by TinyPicEvery nook and cranny is now being invaded with technology and that includes mental health. Using technology to offer therapy sessions, a group of therapists have been the change agents responsible for using the internet to offer professional mental health support through a little known service called talkspace.

The US based company, talkspace, has redesigned the view that people have about therapists, by providing affordable,  typically weekly talk therapy sessions online. Spark Capital and Softbank have partnered with talkspace to raise a whopping $2.5 million allowing its unique, unlimited messaging model for therapy more accessible to  a wider audience. Aiming to reach some of the 45 million diagnosed patients with mental disorders, talkspace has set its sights on bridging the gap as alarmingly only less than 40% of the demographic seem to be getting professional mental health treatment. This huge chasm of under-supported patients is a real concern and so this unique solution seems promising . The start-up aims to give immediate and continuous support to its customers by allowing them an unlimited number of text messages to a qualified therapist. The official website states that the offer to chat with your therapist endlessly is available on trial for a week, after which you can avail the same service for $25 a week. Scheduled live video therapy sessions are available to customers at $29 for a 30-minute session allowing you the comfort of having a therapist in your own home.

With an app for iOS users and the web, talkspace users are able to send anonymous messages to any licensed therapist avoiding the hassle of going through the cycle of scheduling these weekly sessions. Users are offered various payment plans such as $49 a week on an ongoing basis, $25 a week paid monthly or $12 a week paid annually to make their services affordable. An Android app would probably help if they chose to reach a wider audience, but that is one thing talkspace can work on depending the how many clients the iOS app is able to bring in.

Oren Frank, CEO talkspace, states that this method is 80% cheaper than traditional methods and is the perfect model for a sustainable business. Oren is confident that his model is on-demand and ongoing and has commissioned apps for the iPad and iPhone to make it easy for users on the go. Making the unlimited messaging system feasible and attracting experienced staff were the primary goals. To attract more users to its platform, Spark Capital and Softbank partnered up with talkspace to raise the money required to reach these goals. Ran Harnevo, AOL president of video, seems to have lent his support to this social service by opting to join the board of directors at talkspace.

What do you think of this unusual marriage of technology and medical health services? Is it worth the price and comfort? Would you use such a forum to discuss serious issues and recommend its services to others? Let us know by leaving your thoughts in the comments section!