The Negative Consequences of Monetizing Mental Health
Even before the outbreak, applications like Talkspace and Betterhelp were gaining popularity as a viable alternative to traditional mental health services. These companies’ rapid expansion has attracted significant investment, raising new challenges about mental health access and equity.
Talkspace recently became the first tele-mental health app to be listed on the stock exchange, exceeding expectations. Ariana Grande announced a $1 million donation from BetterHelp in the form of free therapy. Companies like Talkspace and BetterHelp look to be a wonderful answer to satisfy a growing demand for mental health services at first glance. Over 40% of Americans in the United States have dealt with mental health or substance abuse concerns. During the pandemic, a record number of Americans experienced mental health problems as a result of COVID-19’s effects.
On the surface, more individuals being able to get the care they need appears to be a good thing. However, we must also investigate the inadequacies in healthcare that led to the development of these apps in the first place. Many Americans cannot afford healthcare in the United States, which is why organizations like Talkspace and BetterHelp exist. Despite their popularity, however, apps like Talkspace and BetterHelp are not a substitute for the high-quality, easily available mental health services that we require.
The practicality of therapy apps as a bridge across the gaps in our mental healthcare system––not to mention the efficacy of the therapy itself––remains a question.
The IPO of Talkspace continues a commercialization trend that emphasizes healthcare as a privilege, not a right. The primary goal of publicly traded corporations is to give investors a return on their investment, which often conflicts with the responsibility of healthcare providers to put patients first.
When healthcare is entirely focused on achieving financial objectives — profit is frequently placed before of access — providers and patients suffer. Burnout is common among doctors and nurses, who are frequently under pressure to make cash.
It’s no different in the field of mental health care. Telehealth therapists report feeling overworked and underpaid after working for tele-mental health applications, demonstrating the detrimental effects of commercializing mental health services.
We must take proactive actions to enhance access and assure equal access and care as the business and healthcare sectors appear to be converging at a rapid rate. Telemental health services range in price from from $280 to $400 per month. During the epidemic, several insurers began to cover tele-mental health apps, such as Talkspace and BetterHelp. Brief News from Washington Newsday.