Site aims to provide mental health therapy online versus in office

TalkSession aims to bring down costs of mental healthcare

Author: Lauren Sweeney, Special Projects Producer, lsweeney@clickorlando.com
Published On: May 01 2013 04:00:13 PM EDT   Updated On: May 01 2013 05:46:58 PM EDT

A new startup website is aiming to provide mental health treatment to people who may not be able to afford it, by offering services online.

TalkSession hopes to connect members to a network of therapists that match criteria such as specialty, location and type of insurance.

Patients will not ever have to leave their house though to get treatment.

According to an article on Mashable.com, it's called "telemental health".

Founder and CEO Melissa Thompson said in an email that TalkSession is launching this month for select providers by equipping them with the technological tools needed to use with their existing clients.

Then in June, the site will begin offering video webinars and expert advice through their 'Issues' magazine.

Currently TalkSession is building its network of providers through a very basic website that has an infographic to sort of explain the need for this type of service.

The site says that 45 percent of people with a mental health issue will never seek help because of cost.

According to the Mashable article, "TalkSession plans to address insurance and affordability concerns in several ways. The site will offer a flagging or alert system if a provider doesn't accept a certain insurance plan. And it's planning an ongoing, supplemental workshop series called OpenSessions to guide patients toward affordable solutions."

Thompson said right now they are working to improve the process of how people find a therapist by trying to use personality traits through online surveys to better match patient to client.

"We realize that it is no small feat.   We will be honing this algorithm over time as we collect more data.  All data is anonymous, but once we begin to connect users and providers, we will be able to better match therapeutic success rates with various data provided by the user," she said.

Thompson also said that remote therapy is a long way off.

"Once we onboard the provider side of the market, test the technology, work to create tele-therapy best practices, then we be creating remote connections," she said.