iExhale Provides Virtual Mental Health Services

By Tamiera Vandegrift on March 17, 2017

Mental illnesses are an issue plaguing a considerable percentage of the human population. Studies show that 18.5% of people suffer from a mental illness of some kind, whether it be an anxiety disorder, a depressive disorder, a personality disorder, or more. That means one out of every five people in the United States are fighting an invisible battle between themselves and their brains. Statistics show that peopled aged 18-30 are more likely to be diagnosed with a mental illness, but less likely to seek help or treatment for the illness.

To alleviate this issue and ensure that more people receive the help they desperately need and deserve, iExhale was created.

“Far too many people struggle to get the help they need due to distance, busy schedules, isolation, fear, and even shame. Some people don’t know how to get started or where to find therapy options and evaluate licensed therapists,” said Emily Isacksen, the Director of Communications at iExhale.

iExhale is an online mental health service that offers on-demand therapy from licensed therapists and an anonymous support network – all offered through the use of a smart phone application.

“Uses simply download the iExhale app to their iPhone or iPad, and with a touch of a button schedule a 45-minute telephone session with a licensed therapist for $64.99,” said Isacksen, “The service is fully HIPPA- and COPPA- compliant and completely secure so users can feel safe and confident in addressing concerns and sharing their personal stories.”

The application offers a ‘Meet a Therapist’ feature, a free and informal 48-hour time period where users and therapists can get to know each other without a financial commitment. This feature allows for users to get to know a therapist through messaging within the application so that they can find the right therapist to meet their needs before scheduling a paid phone session. Users can use this feature to learn about the therapist’s background, how the therapy sessions work, and what to expect during a session. Since the ‘Meet a Therapist’ feature is intended to provide answers to questions, not provide therapeutic services, minors can use this feature without parental consent. However, minors under the age of 18 must acquire parental permission before booking a session. The application offers support to those over the age of 14 and older.

Another feature of the application is an anonymous social support network that offers users the chance to interact and receive support from a community of similar people. It works like a social network where users can react to what others have shared and sharing things that they agree or identify with. One particular feature is the “How are you feeling?” feature, where users can choose an emotion to express their feelings, write thoughts, and search through pictures to find an image that describes one’s thoughts and feelings. However, unlike other social media applications there is no free-form commenting or direct user-to-user messaging enabled.

“Anyone can share their thoughts and feelings freely and often with the community in a fun and nurturing environment without fear of being teased or bullied thanks to the use of preloaded thoughts and emoticons.” said Isacksen.

According to a study of the results of 8,000 patients who used telemedicine services revealed that the subjects found no difference between virtual appointments and in-person services, which shows the effectiveness iExhale has to offer.

“We want to make on-demand mental health services and professional therapy available to anyone regardless of their race, class, location or age,” said Isacksen, “It’s important that we find ways to ease the burden of inaccessibility to convenient, affordable mental health services.”

iExhale will be available for iPhone in the Ios Application Store. The iExhale team is currently working on an application for Android and also a desktop version.

iExhale is the only application of its kind, offering social support networks, on-demand therapy, and more. The issue of untreated mental illnesses is a considerable one having a terrible effect on those without a means to get help. Fortunately, iExhale is here to help and in a huge way.

Tamiera is a senior at Florida State University, studying Editing, Writing & Media and Digital Media Production. When she's not geeking out about movies and puppy videos, she's on her way to a career in screenwriting, while working intensely to finish a few novels before graduation. Besides writing, Tamiera is otherwise obsessed with Coldplay, feminism, dystopian novels, and various types of junk food. She hopes to see one of her works on the silver screen and eventually finish an entire tube of Chapstick.

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