Now your therapist lives inside your iPhone
I guess it had to happen. Someone has introduced a service to connect people with mental health experts via your iPhone at an affordable cost.
Your therapist inside your iPhone
Lyf Support aims to make connecting with a Mental Health Expert affordable and accessible for everyone, including those that may have avoided seeking such help due to high costs.
The app developers say they have focused the design of the app for times when people may need immediate professional help from fully qualified mental health experts. No appointment required. The idea here is that help should always be available to someone when they need it.
What Lyf says
“The launch of ‘Lyf Support’ means that whether you’re scared or impacted by COVID-19, battling anxiety, dealing with infidelity, coping with loss, struggling with addiction, or questioning your sexual identity, you can now have instant and affordable access to mental health professionals – 24/7,” said Eddie Wittenberg, Co-Founder & CEO of Lyf.
“With Lyf, you’re provided a world of support in the palm of your hand.”
The cost of therapy
Lyf has become the world’s largest app-based virtual support group. Its Lyf Support sessions cost $5.99 for 30-minutes, $29.99 a month for six sessions or $59.99 a month for 13 sessions.
That’s a great deal cheaper than a standard visit with a mental health professional, so it’s hard not to raise concerns around safeguarding, data protection and professional regulation at that price. Lyf tells us it has staffed its service with fully qualified mental health experts.
How it works
Lyf Support is available as a text-based service, as many people in need may not feel comfortable conducting video or voice calls with a professional.
“Texting offers extra anonymity, while allowing those in need to easily convey their thoughts, no matter where they are or who may be nearby,” the company said.
All sessions are saved, so users can go back and read the transcripts.
What is Lyf?
Lyf, available for free for iOS and Android, is a self-care community. In which users share stories and experiences.
Zooming out: Trends in care
What’s interesting about the arrival of Lyf Support is that it comes as VC investments in the health and wellness space spike.
Driven by the pandemic, there’s a push to make provision of such services increasingly digital. The UK NHS is significantly investing in digital technology for mental health services provision through Clinical Commissioning Groups.
At the same time a recent MIND report warned that focusing mental health care provision around digital exacerbates the challenges of the digital divide. Not only is access limited to those who own such devices, but not everyone is equally equipped to make use of them.
There’s also growing momentum behind the application of artificial intelligence and data analytics in mental health care.
HelloSelf recently raised $7.6million in Series A funding for its data driven service. With this in mind, it’s hard not to imagine Lyf’s business plan may feature a move toward use of bots and AI to supplement its provision.