Anyone who has ever struggled with disruptions to their mental health is very likely familiar with the feeling of being unable to bring themselves to step out of the house. The reasons for this are complex and vary massively from individual to individual, so much so that it would seem trite to list any examples here; all that matters, in this case, at least, is that single unifying factor – the impossibility of getting out of bed, crossing into the threshold, and going about business as usual in the world outside. On days like this, the effort it takes to commute to a therapy session can prove so exhausting that, when it comes to actually attempting to speak about and engage with difficult subjects, attendees are already drained of emotional energy on arrival and thus don’t get the most out of their appointment.
It is, unfortunately, all too easy to see how a vicious circle can easily form under these circumstances, and there are plenty more besides that prevent therapy attendance altogether, such as lack of transport, work scheduling, physical medical conditions, and domestic violence. It was in response to these issues that KindMind, a new platform that offers access to mental health treatment via video therapy sessions and online support forums, came to be.
The KindMind app’s marketplace of licensed therapists and psychiatrists provides a welcome alternative to what can often be a gruelling selection experience for therapy-goers. The app is optimized to help KindMind users select a clinician who suits their needs, and, to remove the "going in blind" concern often associated with the raw vulnerability of opening up to a stranger during a first session, it’s also possible to view their profiles in order to ascertain that a therapy provider’s approach is something that clicks for you.
The app also offers a mood-tracker function that allows KindMind users to create a record their emotional state on a day-to-day basis. This can then be shared with their therapist of choice to create a detailed update, from which they can draw in tailoring sessions to accomodate and allow for recent significant life events and influences that can drastically effect the tone, direction, and overall success of a session.
The appeal of KindMind also rests with the fact that, aside from its virtual therapy attendance aspect, it essentially operates like any other therapist’s office – albeit one of a low-stress, incredibly user-friendly sort. Patients can cancel appointments up to 24 hours before their scheduled time slot without incurring a fee. At present, KindMind only handles self-pay billing – though, thankfully, many insurance companies are currently in the process of updating their policies regarding teletherapy, so submitting a claim to an insurance company could see KindMind appointments partially or, in some cases, even entirely. The service is currently hard at work to begin handling insurance in the near future.
All of that said, it’s still true that the internet can often seem like a vast, clinical space in which information misuse is a constant threat. The guaranteed confidentiality of a one-to-one conversation behind a closed office door may, in actual fact, be one of the only remaining drawing points of in-person mental wellness treatment. This is not lost on the creators of KindMind. On their app, a huge emphasis is placed on the protection of personal and health-related information. The platform is completely compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 – which, in layman’s terms, means that any private information entered into the KindMind system is guaranteed to be under strict, encrypted protection for as long as it’s stored there.
Lack of access to mental health facilities is one of the main barriers to seeking treatment. Teletherapy, which is legal in all 50 American states, is an underutilized answer to this problem. Research of the area supports the view that teletheray services such as KindMind are a completely valid – and oftentimes, more practical – alternative to in-person therapy appointments. An expansion of the pool of available mental health resources is something that, on a global scale, cannot progress quickly enough; for helping fight this good fight, we have KindMind to thank.