Talkspace is an online therapy company that many consider a pert of the future of mental health and technology. The start-up offers therapy via video chat and has really picked up steam recently. So much so that it has brought on a Chief Medical Officer to help in anticipation of selling to an employer soon.
The person that will take on the Chief Medical Officer position is Neil Leibowitz. Neil has experience working in a leadership role as he is the former senior medical director at UnitedHealth. His hiring comes as Talkspace begins its plans to grow the company as it thinks about a potential initial public offering.
The timing couldn’t be more perfect for Talkspace as it recently hit 1 million users in a five year span. Users can talk to a therapist online for $79 weekly or message a mental health professional for $49. Talkspace CEO Oren Frank says the company is worth millions of dollars.
Neil Leibowitz brings a certain level of professionalism the company was missing. With his background as an ex-insurance executive, he can help the company navigate the corporate side of things. Oren Frank thinks Neil is a great addition since the corporate side of business will represent around 50% of the company’s revenue by next year. Talkspace began venturing more into the corporate side after it partnered with employer-focused Magellan Health last year.
Depression and mental health in general are two topics that have a huge amount of stigma. Luckily, employers are showing more interest in both after recent studies show employees with mental health issues are less productive. According to Oren Frank most employees who try Talkspace’s business service choose to message professionals rather than talk.
Mental disorders are one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Despite this many people choose to pretend mental health issues don’t exist. Hundreds of millions of people currently suffer from some form of mental disorder. many mental health professionals and advocates like Oren Frank believe technology can be a very useful tool in combating mental health issues.