Greek organization seeks to destigmatize mental health

By Denise Hernandez | October 3rd, 2016

It can often be difficult for college students to take care of themselves mentally and emotionally in between busy schedules, exams and personal issues. One Greek organization has decided to take mental health care into its own hands by teaming up with an online therapy service to provide psychotherapy for its members.

In order to provide more accessible mental health care, Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) teamed up with Talkspace.

“[Talkspace] provides therapy in a faster, timely manner,” said Justen English, the president for UNLV’s ATO chapter. “It provides the platforms we need to create awareness about mental health.”

Talkspace matches clients with a therapist who can fill their psychological needs the best.

“The therapists can text back and forth with a client,” said Katherine Glick, a licensed professional counselor who works at Talkspace. “Which format is appropriate depends on the person.”

Clients may remain anonymous and receive their counseling at their discretion. ATO members who choose to use the counseling service will receive the first three months free, as paid for by the organization.

If members of ATO choose to continue the service after the first three months, they may do so at a discounted price. For interested students outside of the organization, the service would cost $32 a week.

“Cost services are affordable,” Glick said. “It allows students with heavy course loads or who don’t have time to build counseling into their lives.”

The partnership between ATO and Talkspace isn’t only to provide accessible mental health care, but to break down the negative stigma that surrounds mental health.

“Fraternities have a stigma of masculinity,” English said. “What we’re trying to do is show that it’s okay to have a problem. It’s not okay to not talk about it.”

By creating this dialogue, both organizations hope that mental health care becomes less of a stigma and more of a natural part of having a healthy lifestyle.

“Mental health care is just as important as physical health care,” Glick said. “You don’t have to be broken and in repair in order to see a shrink.”

Those interested in accessing Talkspace may do so by downloading their application from the Apple Store and Google Play or by visiting their website.

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