According to a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 45% of adults in the United States feel that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their mental health. In response to this growing mental health crisis, Hims, Inc. a disruptive telehealth company, is now offering virtual group therapy for free.
Social isolation, job loss, parenting concerns, and other factors can lead to anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and other mental health issues. Frontline workers experience burnout and may develop PTSD due to the trauma of caring for sick and dying patients. People with existing mental health conditions likely have worsening symptoms. Yet many Americans feel uncomfortable talking about their emotions or seeking professional help for their distress.
Hims was founded in 2017 as a subscription-based web store offering prescription and over-the-counter personal health products. The company sought to tackle the difficulties men have with discussing their health and spending time (and money) on self-care. The company added Hers, a similar service for women in 2018.
In response to the pandemic, Hims & Hers now offer primary care and individual therapy services via telemedicine under their standard subscription umbrella. But some people may have reservations about talking one-to-one with a therapist or not be able to afford individualized therapy. These people can participate in a variety of free anonymous support groups without signing up for the subscription service.
To sign up, individuals can visit the group therapy page on the Hims or Hers websites where they can explore a broad range of topics. Examples include negative thinking, self-care, better sleep, and sessions specifically for first responders such as “Battling Burnout.” Users reserve a spot anonymously and may submit questions before the session begins.
Over a web conferencing platform, therapists discuss coping strategies, moderate a group discussion, and answer realtime questions. By providing a fast, simple way for men and women to access group therapy, Hims, Inc. has shown that it’s taking the health issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic seriously.