Donate Your Health Care Data Today


This post, Donate Your Health Care Data Today, was originally published as an opinion piece in The New York Times’ ‘The Privacy Project’ on October 2nd, 2019.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably become increasingly concerned about your data, and for good reason: It seems that every day, we wake up to news about a new data breach or privacy violation, encouraging collective paranoia to travel widely and well.

This fear is perhaps most justified when it comes to matters as intimate as our health — there is something haunting about the image of an attacker with unauthorized access to our treatment records, medication protocol and comprehensive electronic health records. On the other hand, should we really be so worried that people will find out about our history of arrhythmia or the results of a recent blood test? In reality, it is not the existence of this data that’s dangerous but the intent of the agents who can obtain it and what they choose to use it for.

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A Reminder That It’s OK to Seek Help

Heart shaped balloons

Dear Talkspace Readers,

Because we at Talkspace are so often touched by mental health issues directly, it can come as something of a surprise when we’re impacted in less expected ways.

Recently we were saddened to hear the news of the passing of a young Serbian model whose likeness was used in some of our marketing materials. Her name was Marija Ćurčić. We saw her face each day on our website, smiling happily from a smartphone in a pink shirt, sunglasses pulled high to hold her hair in place.

I’d venture to guess that everyone knows someone affected by mental illness: for me it was a close family member as well as a good friend, both of whom died by suicide. I often ask myself if I could have done something differently — if I could have noticed the signs earlier or been more involved. Continue reading A Reminder That It’s OK to Seek Help

The Global Mental Healthcare Epidemic Demands an Urgent Paradigm Shift

Sigmund Freud

We are living in the midst of a mental health crisis — in the U.S. and across the globe. According to the World Health Organization, depression affects nearly 15 percent of adults worldwide, and diagnoses have risen 33% since 2013, according to a report from health insurer Blue Cross Blue ShieldResearchers Aaron Reuben and Jonathan Schaefer even recently proved that we are all more likely to experience a bout of mental illness in our lives than we are to develop diabetes, heart disease or any kind of cancer.

As a leader of Talkspace, a behavioral health company that has provided 1 million people psychotherapy over the last 6 years, I have been relentlessly exposed to and concerned by the complexity of the problem. Clinical, technological, regulatory, cultural, and above all, human issues are involved, and the current systems designed to deal with it are failing. The rate of failure across different systems is accelerating. Continue reading The Global Mental Healthcare Epidemic Demands an Urgent Paradigm Shift

Therapy for All

smiling young asian woman in hat using text therapy

Therapy for all isn’t simply a slogan. It isn’t just a philosophy. Therapy for all is an imperative. Mental illness is a global health problem and, in the United States specifically, 1 in 5 adults suffers from mental illness in a given year. Look around you: I’d hazard a guess that one person in your direct vicinity has dealt with a mental health challenge in the past year.

In fact, a recent study by psychology researchers Aaron Reuben and Jonathan Schaefer has shown that we are more likely to experience a bout of mental illness than we are to develop diabetes, heart disease, or any kind of cancer. And yet it’s far more common (and, yes, culturally acceptable) to fear eating too much sugar and fat than it is to consider the possibility of seeking out mental health care.

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Talkspace 2017 Mental Health Year in Review

women march 2017 signs crowd

2017 was a big year — in politics, pop culture, and yes, in mental health. It was the inaugural year of Donald Trump’s presidency, which turned the political landscape of the United States upside down, and caused a wave of anxiety to ripple through the nation.

On the brighter side, 2017 has been a year of raising awareness — especially related to sexual harassment, gun violence, and the language we use to talk about mental illness.

In pop culture, we tragically lost mental health warrior Chester Bennington, but also watched as a new guard of celebrity spokespeople began to speak up about their mental health journeys. A tide may be turning.

Natural disasters like Hurricanes like Harvey, Maria, and Irma, and the fires in Southern California, were all national tragedies that, for many, became urgent fights for survival. These events were environmental crises, and forced us to examine how we respond to and treat trauma as a culture.

After sifting through the happenings of 2017, we present you with the Talkspace 2017 Mental Health Year in Review — spanning the good, the bad, and the ugly. Continue reading Talkspace 2017 Mental Health Year in Review