Conference Recap – Mental Health and Young Americans: Breakdown or Breakthrough

Talkspace CEO Oren Frank speaks with Michael Phelps

We can all agree that being a teenager has always been tough. Hormones are changing, social anxiety has kicked into high gear, and peer pressure is exerting itself from every angle.

But teens today are facing unique challenges. From social media addiction to social isolation, vaping to the opioid epidemic, cyberbullying to gun violence, Gen Z-ers are coming of age in a whole new world. Most concerning, it’s showing up in their mental health.

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Meet Our Therapists: Alicia Winkle

Alicia Winkle talkspace therapist headshot

Therapists are as unique as the clients who seek their help. Talkspace’s “Meet Our Therapists” series offers intimate access to the mental health professionals who provide care. It’s a view of their passion for making therapy more accessible. Check out our latest interview below!

Name: Alicia Winkle

Licensing Info: Licensed Professional Counselor [LPC #3290] in Alabama

Time Working With Talkspace: 2 years

Time Working as a Therapist: 5 years

Why are you working in therapy/mental health?

I’ve always wanted to be in the helping field. Originally, I was in school to be a nurse practitioner. After having anxiety issues myself and dropping out of nursing school and college for a semester, I changed my major to psychology. From there I decided I wanted to help people overcome their own obstacles and make changes in their lives by working as a therapist. I went back to school at the University of North Alabama and got my master’s degree in Community Counseling. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

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The Mental Health Impact of the AHCA (Trumpcare)

cut out of family heart stethoscope

With the passage of the American Health Care Act in the House of Representatives, we may be approaching a mental health care crisis unlike anything seen before. Included in the bill is a provision to allow states to strike key provisions protecting Essential Health Benefits.

Whereas the percentage of uninsured once hovered around 16% of the nonelderly population, the ACA brought that figure down to 10.9% in 2015 — a record low. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that 24 million Americans will lose coverage by 2026 under the first replacement plan, 14 million in just the next year. Without giving the Budget Office time to score the new bill, the House passed the measure by a slim majority.

The bill will dramatically affect mental health parity — the historical divide between coverage requirements for mental and physical health — by allowing states to define Essential Health Benefits. Prior to the ACA, the lack of parity meant insurers could limit or deny coverage for mental health services, letting insurers limit the number of therapy sessions per year as well as treatment for substance abuse. The Essential Health Benefits of the ACA helped correct this discrepancy. Continue reading The Mental Health Impact of the AHCA (Trumpcare)