Ariana Grande Is Giving Away $1 Million in Free Therapy With BetterHelp
Just when you thought Ariana Grande had reached peak icon status, she went ahead and one-upped herself. In an Instagram post on Tuesday, Ari announced that she's working with BetterHelp to help bring free therapy to the masses.
Ariana wrote that she and BetterHelp, a digital therapy app, will give away $1 million in therapy, helping people get one month of free therapy through the service. Long a mental health advocate, Ariana said the partnership is in hopes of opening the doors of therapy so that it's not just for a “privileged few.”
“Thrilled to be working with @betterhelp to give away $1,000,000 of free therapy!” she wrote. “While acknowledging that therapy should not be for a privileged few but something everyone has access to, and acknowledging that this doesn’t fix that issue in the long run, I really wanted to do this anyway in hopes of inspiring you to dip a toe in, to feel okay asking for help, and to hopefully rid your minds of any sort of self judgement in doing so!”
Even though one in five adults experience mental illness, not everyone seeks treatment. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 45% of adults with a mental illness will seek treatment in a given year. While there are many reasons someone who needs it might not get therapy, cost is one of them —still, whether or not you have insurance, there are options available. Services like BetterHelp and Talkspace offer somewhat affordable options, and some therapists offer sliding scale payments.
Ariana is right that a one-time effort to give away one month of free therapy won't fix the larger structural issue of being able to afford mental health care, but she's also right that it's a step in the right direction. Whether it lowers the barrier of entry enough for someone to start on a longer therapy journey or provides one month of relief for someone in need to treatment, it's a start.
For some, that start can make a huge difference, even if cost isn't the issue. In addition to cost, stigma can prevent people from seeking the therapy they need. Ariana has been open about her own mental health, which helps destigmatize it for so many.
“I so hope that this will be a helpful starting point and that you’ll be able to build space for this in your lives and continue!" Ariana wrote. "Healing is not linear or easy but you are worth the effort and time, I promise!”