There was a time when Micheal Phelps was everywhere. He had it all, fame, a beckoning career as a product spokesperson, and a personal brand the was among the best. Then just a few short months after his stunning 2004 Olympic success, which was itself only the prelude to his 2008 conquest of Olympic swimming, the wheels began to fall off. Police arrested him for drunk driving just scant months after his 2004 Olympic triumphs. Phelps was only 19. In 2008 Michael would soar to even greater heights in the 2012 Olympic Games where he won a record-breaking eight Olympic Gold Medals. In 2009 someone posted a photo of Michael using a bong. Then in 2014, Phelps got a second DUI. Unknown to most, Phelps had long struggled with ADHD and depression — and it was this that would eventually drive him to therapy, and later made him the perfect for his current partnership with Talkspace, an online provider of mental health counseling.
Phelps eventually turned to therapy after he found himself wondering if the world might just be better off without him. The treatment worked, although Phelps admits in a Boston.com article from May 2018, that he expects depression to be something he’ll need to deal with occasionally for the remainder of his life. Phelps recently partnered with Talkspace, an online and mobile therapy provider based in New York. Of course, our digitally connected world means Talkspace.com’s physical location hasn’t the slightest effect on their ability to provide mental health therapy to anyone, anywhere.
Talkspace offers a new approach to mental health therapy. Oren and Roni Frank founded Talkspace in 2012. Talkspace initially functioned as a group therapy provider. In 2014, Talkspace began offering unlimited texting with a therapist on their website and via an app they created for that purpose. In 2016 Talkspace added counseling with licensed therapists via live voice calls and real-time video sessions. Agora.io provides HIPAA-compliant video services to Talkspace.com. Reaction to Talkspace has been generally positive. The ability to talk to one of Talkspace’s more than 2000 licensed therapists, without a long wait, seems to be a major contributor to its effectiveness.