Talkspace partnered with Olympics swimmer Michael Phelps starting in May 2018. He taped a number of television ads discussing mental health and his own struggles in this regard. The point of the ads is to promote getting therapy to treat mental health issues and raise awareness. The Talkspace ads have been airing nationally on a number of cable channels.
Talking about his own depression and anxiety, Michael Phelps said that it was very difficult for him to reach out for help. He found that once he did start going to a therapist he found the experience to be one that was a source of strength rather than vulnerability. Using Talkspace he could speak to his therapist using text, web, and video depending on what worked best for what he wanted to address. He decided to share his experience with others and let them know that accessing a therapist is much easier nowadays as well as more affordable.
Talkspace was co-founded by Oren Frank. His company developed an app that lets people communicate with a therapist through it. Talkspace was founded in 2012 and can be used on mobile devices, desktops, and laptops. So far more than a million people have used the app with 70% of these people seeking therapy for the first time in their lives. These people have faced many issues they need therapy to address such as depression, personality disorders, addiction, family problems, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Earlier in 2018 Neil Leibowitz was brought on board at Talkspace. He is the chief medical officer and his hiring made it possible for the Talkspace psychiatrists to begin prescribing medicine to the people they are working with. He says that before taking the position of CMO he had been a bit skeptical because getting therapy through an app sounded very new and different. Once he learned about the app and the people working at Talkspace he became much more comfortable about the concept.