Head on over to Oren Frank’s twitter feed and you’ll see a man deeply concerned with mental health. He’s especially concerned with mental health as it pertains to life in our technologically advanced world. And it’s no wonder he’s worried about depression, anxiety and suicide. Millennials have shown a sharp increase in depression and anxiety which has a negative impact on our collective economic productivity.
Oren Frank’s company, Talkspace, offers an easy way to receive mental health services. Clients pay $79 a week to have video chat access to a licensed mental health professional. However, many prefer the messaging service which costs only $49 per week.
The metrics on these services are astounding. It seems that people are committed to receiving treatment and are paying for months of the service up front. And Oren Frank takes his services to some of the biggest employers in the country. He claims that about 10% of each company’s workforce chooses to use Talkspace services. And, he says, the majority of those prefer the messaging service over the video chat service.
Talkspace had to ramp up its services in the wake of the 2016 presidential election. Demand for mental health services went up sevenfold and the tech company had to keep pace. And now Oren Frank wants to take the company public. In a bold move, he hired a chief medical officer from United Health to help with the health insurance side of the business.
It also puts the company in a position to begin prescribing medications through its online services. The company has already taken a stance against prescribing opiates for any reason whatsoever. They’ve also changed the policy in which mental health professionals will try to interfere in emergency situations. It seems the company is becoming more aggressive about its mental health initiatives.
These online services allow anybody with a budding mental illness to reach out in a very convenient manner. In this way, Oren Frank and Talkspace have already helped 1 million people and are putting themselves into position to help millions more. It seems that the Internet may finally pull through on its promise to bring us all together.