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Have you ever found yourself in a position where you thought, “I’m really overwhelmed, anxious or sad and I could really use someone to talk to right now,” but weren’t sure where to start? You’re not alone. In fact, depression and anxiety have increased 25% worldwide since the start of the pandemic, according to the World Health Organization.
A New Type of Online Therapy
Enter TherapyDirect, a new program WellPower launched on May 16 that provides up to three, free online therapy sessions. The goal of TherapyDirect is to provide timely, easy and convenient access to mental health services for metro Denver residents, with a specific focus on reducing barriers to care.
“We’re able to offer up to three, 55-minute sessions that allow people to get from initial curiosity or awareness of mental health services to an intake appointment,” says Cari Ladd, LCSW, program manager of TherapyDirect. “Because it’s online and free to use, we’ve eliminated the cost and transportation barriers so many community members face.”
Staff are trained in intervention care, ensuring each session is impactful. People have flexibility with how they use their sessions, too. Some may decide one session is enough, while others may choose to use all three and pre-schedule their next appointments. For the people who aren’t sure whether to use the second and third sessions, they can save them for another day, and simply log on to TherapyDirect when ready for the next one.
Addressing the Need You Have Right Now
Many people who’ve tried to access behavioral health care are often halted by a wait list – sometimes months-long due to the tidal wave of need and national, clinical workforce shortage. TherapyDirect offers a way to bypass that wait time and address the need you have in the moment. The program also offers a path to longer-term services with WellPower.
“Oftentimes, something happens in our lives that moves us from thinking about getting help to actually making the call,” says Ladd. “There’s a fine line between contemplation and action, and we know as mental health providers, that when someone is ready for action, it’s important for services to be available. TherapyDirect offers the bridge for people to get those immediate needs met.”
How does it work?
TherapyDirect is available Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. To get connected, visit www.wellpower.org/therapydirect, then click on the button that says, “Click to Start.”
You’ll be directed to a secure, private form where you’ll be asked to fill out your legal first name, legal last name and any additional information you choose to provide.
Once you submit the form, you’ll be automatically redirected to a Microsoft Teams private waiting room, where an intake coordinator will connect with you to get started. The services provided are free to you and accessible from any phone, tablet or computer with an Internet connection. “We wanted to make sure we accounted for and eliminated those logistical barriers to care, because engaging in mental health services can be hard enough, in and of itself,” says Ladd. “We know therapy can be expensive, and not everyone can afford $200 an hour for a private practice. I’m so proud that we offer a level of care on par with those private practices, and for free. Cost shouldn’t be a determining factor in your well-being.”