Venus Williams is helping provide $2 million in free therapy through BetterHelp

We’ve had a greater awareness of mental health recently as so many of us have been isolated and unable to connect with friends and family. Athletes like Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles have been open and honest about how their mental health affects their performance. Now Venus Williams is helping provide $2 million in free therapy through BetterHelp, an app that provides a therapist to text at any time along with virtual visits. This initiative is also in collaboration with the WTA. (BetterHelp should not be confused with BetterUp, the mental health/personal development app that Prince Harry is the CIO of.) Below are a few more details from People about the collaboration:

“The challenge of taking care of our mental health through the ups and downs of life is something that all of us, no matter our background, can relate to,” Williams, 41, said in a statement.

“Now more than ever, we need to create an accepting and open environment to seek professional mental health therapy, which is why I am so excited to partner with BetterHelp and the WTA to provide access to free therapy and help raise awareness,” the athlete added.

There has been an increased focus on mental health in the world of tennis. Recently, Naomi Osaka began speaking publicly about her struggles with depression.

According to the WTA Tour, the first $1 million for the program is available now while the second $1 million will be “covered by BetterHelp for each ace hit by WTA players for the remainder of the 2021 WTA Tour season.”

“We’re thrilled to partner with Venus and the WTA to bring greater awareness and access to therapy,” BetterHelp President Alon Matas said in a statement. “Especially today, it’s important that we take care of our mental well-being, and therapy provides the space and time to do just that. We’re incredibly excited to support the WTA’s like-minded goals and partner with Venus to continue making therapy more accessible.”

[From People]

In the wake of so many athletes and high profile people speaking up about their mental health journeys, I feel that conversations around mental health fitness are no longer taboo. Mental health apps can help people who are new to therapy along with those who want a more convenient, less intimidating way to work with a professional. I like the fact that the WTA has also gotten on board with this initiative especially after the hell Naomi Osaka went through earlier this summer. The Williams sisters have been trendsetters and leaders so Venus being signed on to this project tracks. I checked Venus’s Instagram and she has a post (below) encouraging people to claim their free month at BetterHelp. I will look out for the stats of this initiative if they are released. In the meantime, if you would like to try out the app you can also claim your free month here.

Note by Celebitchy: This is not a sponsored post. I signed up for BetterHelp a few months ago but did not like my therapist. (She was dismissive in her text messages.) They offered to switch therapists for me and when I said no I got a full refund. I sometimes see a therapist through Doctor on Demand and have found it helpful.

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9 Responses to “Venus Williams is helping provide $2 million in free therapy through BetterHelp”

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  1. Lemons says:

    I just love her and appreciate what she does.

  2. Amy T says:

    So important and such a great thing to see. I’ve been working as a volunteer around stigma reduction and mental health for almost 20 years and it’s amazing to watch people with huge platforms be so up front and open about their own struggles. Osaka, the Williams sisters, the Sussexes, Simone Biles and others are on the leading edge of hopefully making some real changes. In my community, the real struggle is figuring out how to get the medical providers who decide which therapists get to provide services and be reimbursed by insurance to increase the number of approved clinicians of color. There are enough of them out there to make a difference, but it’s a structural barrier that isn’t being addressed.

  3. SarahCS says:

    Go Venus, what a great endeavour.

    I agree that for a lot of people things are shifting and it’s wonderful. Mental health issues are so prevalent but are consistently concealed. I applaud everyone who is willing to share their experiences at the right time for them as it helps everyone else realise they are far from alone.

  4. ModeratelyWealthy says:

    Love people who put their money where their mouth is. the Williams sisters are incredible!

  5. Sigmund says:

    I appreciate the growing awareness of the importance of mental health, and the awareness Venus is bringing. That being said, I’ve not heard many good things about Better Help, and I do worry that, as a tech company with different priorities than a mental health practice, they are actually giving people negative impressions of therapy.

    While every therapist is different, Better Help seems to overbook their therapists, which leads to less effective therapy. If possible, it sounds like people are better off finding a therapist in their area than going through Better Help.

    • E says:

      Yes, please find better companies to work with! They pay their therapists horribly, creating a model that is not sustainable. Many therapists are already poorly paid for the amount of schooling and experience required in many states.

  6. Trillion says:

    Yes! Normalize therapy. It’s healthcare!

  7. lucy2 says:

    This is really, really wonderful. I hope anyone in need will take advantage of this opportunity.

  8. IMARA219 says:

    I love her hair! So beautiful and curly.