Therapy for Teens — Talkspace

Many teenagers today are not well; that’s the conclusion of both government data and observations from Talkspace therapists. According to the CDC, 42% of high school students reported feeling very sad or hopeless and 22% seriously considered attempting suicide. in a Talkspace Supplier Survey who work with teens, 63% report that they believe the mental health of high school students has gotten worse over the past two years (and only 8% say it has improved).

It’s not easy for teens to get mental health support. School counselors are often seriously overstretched, therapy is financially out of reach for many teens, and even those who can afford therapy find that therapists have months-long wait lists due to nationwide shortages. But teens can’t wait: Nearly 6 in 10 young people with major depression receive no mental health treatment, and tragically, 12 American teens commit suicide every day.

With numbers like these, it’s clear that teen mental health issues are more than a personal problem: they’re a public health emergency. Now, the nation’s largest city is taking a big step to provide its youth with potentially life-saving support: With a new program called NYC Teenspace, the New York City Department of Health is offering all residents of the city for ages 13 to 17 free mental health care, powered by Talkspace.

This first-of-its-kind citywide initiative makes mental health therapy and education available at no cost to any New York City teen, regardless of income, insurance status, and where or if they attend school. the school. Is that how it works:

  1. Teens ages 13 to 17 can visit from a computer or mobile device and enter their date of birth and address to qualify.
  2. They choose to start with an online assessment and mental health education and self-guided exercises designed for teens, or they can enroll in individual therapy with a Talkspace therapist who is licensed in New York and has experience treating teens.
  3. When a teen chooses therapy, they will need to enter a parent or guardian’s information so Talkspace can obtain parental consent, then the teen will answer questions about issues affecting them so we can match them with a therapist who is a good fit.
  4. Teens can message their therapist at any time through the secure Talkspace platform, and therapists typically respond five days a week. They can also schedule a 30-minute live virtual session with their therapist each month.

Studies by leading research institutions have shown that Talkspace message-based therapy is equally effective as face-to-face therapy for common mental health conditions. The convenience and privacy of message-based therapy is especially appealing to many teens, who appreciate the ability to text their therapist in the moment when they need to vent or ask for support.

“Teens love the option to message and have daily access to their therapist,” says Talkspace therapist Christine Lamirande, LCMHC..

“Many teens seem more comfortable with messaging therapy; it’s different for every teen, but its availability seems comforting to them,” adds Minkyung Chung, MS, LMHC.

Talkspace’s team of therapists available to work with New York City teens have a wide range of specializations and areas of expertise. They can support those suffering from conditions such as depression, anxiety, OCD, and more, and are also available for teens who don’t have a mental health condition and simply need a private, objective person to talk to about school, relationships, and stresses. of daily life.

New York City is one of the most diverse populations on the planet, and our therapists are diverse too: about 35% of Talkspace’s licensed therapists in New York identify as BIPOC, 30% are LGBTQIA+ or have experience working with LGBTQIA+ people, and they speak 30 different languages ​​(we can also provide real-time translation support in 120 languages).

Although Talkspace is not a crisis or suicide prevention line, our platform monitors messages in real time for signs that a teen might be at risk of self-harm and alerts the therapist that there could be a problem. If necessary, we have processes in place to escalate any immediate crisis situation.

Because the teen mental health crisis is as complex as the teens themselves, there are no simple solutions. But there’s one thing our therapists know for sure: “Teenagers are vividly clear in expressing their desire for more support, attention, and understanding simply to ‘have someone in their corner’ or ‘to have their back,'” says Elizabeth. Keohan, LCSW. -C, LICSW. “This is not ambiguous: teenagers say it regularly. His desire in the midst of frustrations is to be heard, but also for someone to take the time to understand him.”

NYC Teenspace offers New York City teens that listener, that space to be heard, and a path to gain a greater understanding of themselves and how to navigate their worlds. We are hopeful that by making this level of professional support convenient, private, and more accessible than ever to the teen population, Talkspace will play a role in both preventing some of the most tragic outcomes of teen challenges and Help young people establish a strong mindset. foundations of health. From this foundation, they can overcome the tensions of the present and work to chart brighter futures.

Are you interested in learning how Talkspace can support adolescent mental health in your school, district, or community? Get in touch for more information.

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