Travis Scott criticized for offering a month of BetterHelp to Astroworld attendees


Like everyone else, I am completely horrified by the tragic events of the Astroworld Festival. Any response from the organizers was going to be inadequate in the wake of the deaths and injuries that happened. However, even with that said, the response has been worse than imagined. I agree with Kaiser’s assessment that Travis Scott has been responding emotionally. That’s not saying it’s right or wrong. Obviously, he’s also being coached by his legal team, but what they are putting out is not it. Travis issued a statement in which he offered to pay for the funerals of all those who perished at the concert. This is appropriate, but also probably cold comfort to the victims’ families. In addition, Travis is refunding ticket costs and paying for a month of therapy through the app BetterHelp for attendees. This announcement did not go over well. Most people saw it as a sponsorship more than any act of service:

Buzzfeed wrote to BetterHelp to clarify the arrangement. Within the response from BetterHelp president Alon Matas, they learned that Travis reached out to them, the offer is for one month – and not much more.

“Following the tragic event over the weekend, Travis’s team reached out to us and asked how we could provide help to those impacted.”

One of the criticisms of the offer was that it was only for one month, a relatively short period of time — especially for trauma work. Originally, the page for Astroworld read, “BetterHelp is offering one month of therapy for those impacted.”

Later on, the page appeared to change to say that The Cactus Jack Foundation — aka Travis Scott’s foundation — would be “covering one month of therapy” and that people could reach out to the foundation for additional coverage. After one month, BetterHelp typically charges between $60 to $90 per week.

In an email to BuzzFeed, Matas wrote that, “BetterHelp and Travis together will cover the costs to provide a month of free therapy by licensed therapists so people in need can get professional help.” He also denied that BetterHelp was paying Travis or “profiting by selling people’s data to advertisers or third parties.”

However, there is the question of whether or not an app like BetterHelp is even suited to help people in a situation like Astroworld. The site’s FAQ says that BetterHelp is not suitable if you are a minor — as many of the Astroworld attendees were — or if “you are in an urgent crisis or an emergency situation.” BetterHelp also cannot be used to obtain a clinical diagnosis or medication.

In response to this, Matas said that BetterHelp is “a therapy service and therapy isn’t the solution for someone who needs immediate help with an urgent crisis.” Within the same email, he also listed the other events BetterHelp reportedly offered free therapy for: “Hurricane Dorian, Hurricane Michael, Hurricane Ida, the Gilroy shooting, the El Paso shooting, the California Wildfires, the evacuations from Afghanistan.”

[From Buzzfeed]

I don’t have any issue with online therapy. But those attendees are possibly looking at PTSD. They likely have no idea what they are processing or how to come at what they are experiencing. As the article pointed out, a month is not going to be enough for many of these people. And who’s covered? There is a nine-year old attendee in a medically-induced coma, how much of their family gets a free month? Do they have to wait to see how the child fares before they start their free therapy?

But the other part of this is the app BetterHelp. It’s a good idea and nice that it’s so accessible, but many people say it’s not a great mental health source. The therapists are overworked and possibly under qualified. People are posting text exchanges with their therapists that are mind-boggling insensitive. CB gave them a try and she found the same thing, so she dumped the service. The idea to offer therapy was not wrong. But this offering wasn’t well thought out. If they were serious, they should have set up crisis counselors in the areas or drop-in clinics. At the very least, have some dedicated PTSD counselors available just for the Astroworld attendees. My heart goes out to all the victims of Astroworld.

From BetterHelp’s Twitter on Oct. 22:



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66 Responses to “Travis Scott criticized for offering a month of BetterHelp to Astroworld attendees”

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  1. Meg3 says:

    He needs to never give any concerts ever again. Mr Autotunes will probably not be backed by any insurances and concert organizers anyway.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Meg3, yes! It’s pretty pathetic that his claim to fame requires him to use auto tune. Doesn’t sound like a man with a talent to sing, just a talent in disregarding his attendees when they are dying at his feet.

  2. Roserose says:

    The NICE guidelines in the UK clearly state that trauma-focused psychological work should not start until 6 months after the trauma. If you start too early, you could end up interfering with the brain’s natural processing. That’ll make the chances of developing PTSD greater. Offering people one month of therapy at this point in time is irresponsible and dangerous.

    These people will clearly be going through a very tough time for a long time coming. Scott is trying to head off an avalanche of lawsuits but in reality, making things worse.

    • stagaroni says:

      No, you do not want to retraumatize the victims, but starting therapy now could help get them on a road to feeling safer in their environment and how on to handle the heightened emotions they are feeling. But that will take far, far longer than one month. As you said, focusing on the actual event won’t come for several months. The victims need long-term solutions. It is fantastic that the UK looks out for it’s citizens.

    • Mac says:

      Therapy and trauma resilience are two different forms of mental health treatment. Better Help should know that.

  3. BlueSky says:

    Travis Scott was and is garbage. He encourages people rushing the stage and ignore security. I hope he becomes uninsurable.
    Btw found a great therapist on doctor on demand.

    • Jan90067 says:

      You KNOW there is a backdoor sponsorship in this, knowing how this family operates.

      This garbage kept a show going while people were being trampled and stampeding the stage for merch that they were told was ONLY available up front. This should be outlawed.

      Is there even ONE PIC out there where he doesn’t look half-witted and stoned out of his mind?

  4. jbyrdku says:

    There’s no talk of a partnership now, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a long-term idea. Either way, it reads as ‘cold’ to me.

    “Sorry your loved ones are dead and/or traumatized because I didn’t care enough to stop the show, but here’s a month of free therapy, byyyyyyyeeeee!”

    • tealily says:

      I think it’s worse than cold. I think he’s doing it as a way to try to head off lawsuits. I’d like to see what the victims are signing away in the small print (along with those refunds).

  5. Millennial says:

    Learning that he encourages the whole “rage” culture at concerts and has been charged before for inciting his concert crowds really spun this in a new light for me and I can’t help but be super creeped out by him now.

  6. BothSidesNow says:

    I don’t think that those who suffered greatly will appreciate this pittance of an offer. They will need fact to face therapy for months, probably years to come.

    What angers me about the entire situation, is that his concerts have created a history of crowd control issues in the past. The sight of many people approaching the stage to tell everyone that people were being crushed and people were dying, they still continued to perform for 41 minutes!!! TS should not be left off the hook this easily. There were young children in the crowd who will need specialized therapy, possibly for years. TS should be banned from playing concerts with such large crowds and his crew should have stopped him performing. TS, I think, showed no empathy or care with regards to his attendees!

    • Sigmund says:

      They will 100% have to go to therapy for years. PTSD is rough.

      And they need real therapists who can focus on them, not the kind of “therapy” offered by BetterHelp.

  7. Truthiness says:

    Better Help was using photos of Kourtney Kardashian’s engagement on their social media and now Travis is offering one month counseling there? Is Kris Jenner a board member or something? At bare minimum, they should use crisis management like Ariana Grande used for the concert bombing that killed 22. Ariana was not the cause but raised $ for the families, gave a benefit concert, seemed sincerely traumatized, and treated it seriously.

  8. minx says:

    There’s a ninth death now, a 22 year old. I have not one shred of sympathy for Scott and hope his career is over.

    • HandforthParish says:

      The press conference her family did was one of the hardest things I have ever watched. Her mother was destroyed- she was rambling deliriously.
      This was the girl who was filmed being dropped on the head by the police- they were lifting her over a fence and she felt on a metal grate.
      Imagine your daughter leaving for a concert and then days later you are signing an organ donation form…

  9. LightPurple says:

    Because one month of therapy through an app will cure someone who just witnessed a friend die while being crushed against a barricade herself.

    This man needs to go silent. The courts will decide his punishment AND what he owes those people, which may include covering their treatment and therapy but it won’t be just a month through an app.

    And the City of Houston and Texas as a whole need to revisit their safety laws. There need to be clear aisles throughout the venue and the performer should never be the final say on safety issues. In Boston, the Fire Department has the final say and when they decide an event has become too dangerous, they literally pull the plug on the performer, silence the stage microphones, turn on the house lights and take over the sound system with directions on how to evacuate safely.

    • Twin falls says:

      I really thought that after the Great White fire, that’s how it was everywhere but I guess just New England states.

      • Lightpurple says:

        Maybe not even all of them. Boston already had safety measures in place that would have reduced much of the loss of the Great White show because of the Coconut Grove fire decades before. I know MA officials worked with RI officials to share information about the laws in place here when they revamped their safety laws and then some rules were changed here about the materials that can be used on a stage. Large scale General admission at large venues was stopped here after The Who tragedy in Cincinnati. Sadly, not every city followed suit.

      • minx says:

        My daughter and her boyfriend went to Lollapalooza this summer, it was packed but well handled. But I live in a blue state, don’t have the soulless Abbott as my governor.

    • lucy2 says:

      I was thinking about this too, the venue, security company, and local government should all be included in these lawsuits, there’s no excuse for what happened.

    • Ann says:

      It’s interesting, I’ve lived in Houston for a long time and I can’t remember anything like this happening before. When they had a parade for the Astros after they won the World Series in 2017, there were huge crowds downtown but no incidents. George Floyd’s funeral was held here, with BLM supporters marching and at least one incendiary speech, and everything remained under control.

      For whatever reason, Houston seems to handle large crowd situations well. I don’t know if it’s the populace, the culture, the safety measures and enforcers, or a combination of all of those. That’s why I fault Scott for so much of this…..he incited what happened. He turned a concert into mayhem on purpose, and people died.

  10. TIFFANY says:

    Travis isn’t responding emotionally, because he has no emotions. He is responding how he thinks someone with emotions and a understanding of them would. Out in this world they are called sociopaths.

    His behavior has been all over the internet for awhile now.

    May this end him. Forever.

  11. HandforthParish says:

    Drake was seen at a strip club in Houston the days after the concert and allegedly spent a million dollars there (there is social media evidence).

    I was wondering why he didn’t comment until the Monday- he was busy partying at the weekend. Not a shred of f*cking decency.

    • Coco says:

      Travis was said to be with him.

      • HandforthParish says:

        That was right after the concert, and they claimed they weren’t told there had been any deaths and left as soon as they found out.
        Drake went back the following night.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        “they claimed they weren’t told there had been any deaths”

        and that is a bunch of BS. they knew it. they SAW it, FFS.

  12. Sue says:

    Therapy tends to be once a week so that’s only 4 one-hour sessions. A month conveniently makes it sound like more. It’s not.
    One month of therapy can be beneficial but you’ve barely cracked the surface in that amount of time. Especially if you’ve never done therapy before. It takes time to find the right therapist for you and to trust and open up to that therapist. Been there done that during a few phases of my life so far.

    • NotSoSocialB says:

      That was my thought- once a week (twice if you’re in dire stratights) for 45 minutes. Four to eight visits and their hands are washed of it all? No. NoNoNoNo.

    • lucy2 says:

      If you can even get that. A lot of those therapy apps are overloaded right now.

  13. Willow says:

    Why didn’t he pick a well established business or charity to ‘partner’ with, instead of the flavor of the month? That’s why people are so suspicious. Plus, he offered one specific service for a short period of time. When did he become qualified to know what kind of help people need?

    • minx says:

      I would say because it’s purely CYA, he’s just trying to make it look like he cares but he’s doing the bare minimum. He has to be worried about money and his future earnings.

  14. Amy Bee says:

    Everything that he’s offering is to mitigate the huge number of lawsuits he’s facing. That being said, I didn’t have a problem with him offering counseling, I thought that one month wasn’t enough. These people are going to take years to get over this.

  15. STRIPE says:

    I tried Better Health and the person I was matched with was woefully under qualified.

    If the kind of help you need is not available in your area, look into mental health professionals in other cities in your state. Most people are offering remote therapy full time now. You don’t need BH.

    • Jensies says:

      I’m a therapist and in therapy circles, Better Help is known to be for therapists who aren’t strong enough in the field to go into private practice. So I don’t doubt that you’re right, most people on there will be under qualified.

      • Sunnydaze says:

        Therapist here too – came to say the same thing! A coworker thought it would be a nice way to reach more people outside of conventional agency hours and promptly quit – she said it was profoundly disturbing the caliber of therapists they were allowing and there was a serious lack of informing people this wasn’t an on-call situation, so managing expectations put her in a tough spot. I thought about it briefly for extra money but practicing therapy is no joke, and shouldnt be managed by something like this on this scale.

      • Tootsie McJingle says:

        This is actually good to know. I’ve been thinking about starting therapy for post partum depression since the medication alone doesn’t seem to be helping as much as I hoped. I had been thinking maybe this app or an app like this would be helpful, but now I think I’ll go the traditional route and hope that maybe a therapist I find can do it virtually.

  16. souperkay says:

    BetterHelp sells your medical information that you give to them to advertisers and 3rd parties. They pay commission to people who will promote their service. One therapist was offered $300 per referral to BH if they posted BH therapists on their website, which when the therapist turned them down, BH shared a typical commission compensation ends up being $80,000 per month because they are selling your private information to the highest bidder.

    Reference: Twitter/TikTok user @therapyden

    • Southern Fried says:

      omfg How is it I continue to be surprised by the level of dishonesty and greed these days? I. Need. A. Drink.
      Thanks for the info, souperkay.

    • Kat says:

      Came here to say this as well, this should honestly be part of the story because it is very possible Travis is getting a kick back for this arrangement.

    • Dizza says:

      This is the most disgusting part, how can any professional medical service sell your info? Better help should be ashamed.

  17. Coco says:

    BetterHelp sales patient information to third parties like Facebook, so when any of these people have a session place like Facebook will be informed.

    This guy dose a better job of breaking it down see part one and two.

    • Jensies says:

      I used to rent office space from Jeff Gunther, the Portland therapist in this TikTok. He’s a great guy and knows his shit.

  18. canichangemyname says:

    “If they were serious” – that’s it right there. They’re not serious. I certainly don’t think TS intended this to happen, and I’m sure he’s upset and sad to a certain extent, but I can’t believe he is taking this at all seriously. He knows he’ll have to shell out some money, but I honestly doubt he sees and understands the full gravity of what happened and his role in it. And this “offer” is evidence of that.

  19. Christine says:

    BetterHelp advertises on EVERYTHING and I would not be surprised if Travis were getting some money from this. This is absolutely a partnership and it’s pretty gross of the both of them.

  20. Tiffany :) says:

    If his foundation is paying…is that a tax write-off?

  21. Storminateacup says:

    Absolute bullshit neither Travis nor Drake was responding emotionally when they went to Dave and Busters then a strip club after all those deaths. Drake is busy posting birthday pics of his son’s birthday while parents mourn the loss of theirs. WHEN PEOPLE SHOW YOU WHO THEY REALLY ARE BELIEVE THEM, don’t let yourself have to ask twice. I used to be a fan of both Drake and Travis now I can’t listen to any of their music without feeling angry thinking of all those dead kids. Those two defo saw what was going on and did nothing. Potential ptsd?! People dying all around you while you’re almost being crushed to death is most defo ptsd. Those kids could have been mine. They should both face criminal charges.

    • Mimi says:

      I’ve def lost a lot of respect for drake. Who I’ve been a fan of since his days on degrassi. Which is a huge shame.

      • Eleonora says:

        I know Drake is big in some countries, but I don’t know any songs by him.

        Guess I will block him on streaming services so I never will.

        And I had no clue who Travis was until this happened, so no interest at all.

    • JJ says:

      Dave and Busters, of all places? How are they not getting more negative publicity for this?

  22. Mimi says:

    He’s so gross and insulting

  23. CuriousCole says:

    I used BetterHelp earlier this year after finally leaving an abusive relationship. You’re able to switch therapists if you don’t connect with who you’re originally assigned, which I did. I loved my second, she helped me tremendously, but she left after a few months, so I did too. Sessions are quite short and typically only once a week, which was frustrating. It’s a good app if you need flexibility with counseling but it is absolutely the wrong resource for these traumatized concert goers. I wish Travis (or his lawyers) had been more thoughtful, it’s not as if he doesn’t have the means to offer more intensive help!

    • Gi says:

      I am currently using BetterHelp since August to deal with relationship anxiety. My first therapist was great but I needed someone who understood dating for this generation and how to deal with my obsessive overanalyzing anxious thoughts….my second therapist deals specifically with what I needed and has helped me tremendously. BetterHelp can be helpful and I love not having to leave my house. As Curious Cole mentioned, the concertgoers might need more intensive help. They might even sadly have to go on medication which Betterhelp can’t help with.

  24. Faye G says:

    I hope he goes away for good and never performs again. I’m beyond horrified by his behavior at the concert and afterwards. He seems like a soulless automaton, drugged out of his mind or both.

    Also I tried Better help a few years ago and it was absolute garbage. I specifically asked for a non-religious counselor to help me through a breakup. They gave me a lady who kept pushing Christian platitudes of pleasing and keeping a man. It was such a waste of money, I do not recommend them!

  25. why? says:

    Travis hasn’t been responding emotionally. He is putting on an act and people see right through it. He isn’t sorry about what happened, he is upset because he and Kris didn’t expect the backlash to be so strong and overshadow the projects and storylines of her other daughters.

  26. Remy says:

    Therapy is good, but the betterhelp app is sis. They sell your info to third parties such as Facebook.

  27. qtpi says:

    Any bets on how long it takes for Kylie to ditch him?

  28. Cecy says:

    Travis lacks the leadership skills to perform in front of a large audience ever again. However his lack of responsible action is not soley at fault. LIVE Nation needs to be dragged for cutting corners to make more $🤑. the layout was not safe there was no free water for an all day outside event. Security could not communicate with the EMTs on the street because they did not have proper devices and cell phones did not work in the park. The city increased capacity solely for this event which shows how they are compromised about their relationship with the clownbraided dimwit. He has no respect for his fans. He lacks emotions becuz he is a narcissist like every man around that family. They are already removing him from their life he was just a pawn to procreate anyway. Capitalism kills y’all & all those billionaires regularly take & take from from others to feed their psycho egos.

    • ElleE says:

      @cecy EMTs were summoned and an ambulance did get through-how was this possible when the root cause of the deaths / trauma was supposedly the crowd pushing towards the front? Lack of water and bad coms don’t explain this mass casualty event-it is just f-in weird.

      When a fan gets on stage screaming that someone is dead and to stop the concert (this is just one person I saw footage of, there may have been more) and the concert doesn’t actually stop & Drake still takes the stage sometime later? Why it is almost as if the entire crew was instructed to keep going, no matter how many bodies were carried out.

      I know that at least one of owners of the station nightclub served actual jail time, but he wasn’t arrested right away. Even though kids I went to high school with died the fire (in their 30’s) I also liked the owner. He was a well
      liked former news anchor and his life and his brother’s life (co owners) were kind of over after that. There is usually collateral damage from mass casualty events and I can’t see how this will be any different. Maybe Travis is going to strip clubs while he still has the freedom to do so. Great White stopped playing.

  29. H3rH!ghn3ss says:

    how insulting.