Talkspace, an Israeli start-up, popped up with large transparent bubbles last week on New York’s Fifth Avenue to offer free online psychological treatment to pedestrians. Passersby can enter a fake living room inside an inflated dome and chat online with a psychologist for free.
The aim is to raise awareness of the availability of mental health services over the internet. People find it easier to get an anonymous treatment, by using a touchscreen at home. ‘Talking with a professional over the internet is a great way to get help and to overcome mental difficulties’, according to the founders Oren and Roni Frank.
The English-speaking service is used across the United States, but includes clients from countries as diverse as Israel, Turkey, and Iran.