– Click HERE for panel photos–
NEW YORK – AUGUST 24, 2021 – On Saturday, the New York Liberty partnered with Talkspace, a leader in virtual behavioral health, for “Back-to-School in a Pandemic: Coping and Thriving in the New Normal,” a panel discussion spotlighting the importance of the mental health of our youth.
According to a recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics, depression and anxiety in children has doubled during the pandemic. As the school year is fast-approaching, educators, school administrators, executives, mental health professionals, advocates, and parents gathered for a conversation on mental health awareness, resources, and action.
“As we all continue to persevere through these trying times, the New York Liberty are grateful for partners such as Talkspace who are leaders in making mental health resources easily accessible for the valued members of our community,” said Liberty CEO Keia Clarke. “This was an incredibly poignant conversation, and as a mother, I feel better prepared for the upcoming school year.”
Moderated by actress, philanthropist, and mother, Nia Long, the panel featured Meisha Porter, Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, Dr. Varun Choudhary, Chief Medical Officer at Talkspace, and Dr. Amy Cirbus, Director of Clinical Content at Talkspace.
The group explored topics ranging from the effects of the pandemic on children’s mental health, managing stress, fear and anxiety as parents, teachers as emotional first responders, the exacerbation of racial and socioeconomic disparities during the pandemic, the role of holistic health, and therapeutic interventions.
“We believe that therapy is important, and everyone should have access to it,” said Dr. Varun Choudary, Chief Medical Officer at Talkspace. “Stigma is going away, slowly but surely, and more people are willing to admit that something is wrong and seek help.”
“Mental health in our schools is absolutely a priority,” said Miesha Porter, New York City Schools Chancellor. “This year we are making significant investments… hiring over 500 additional social workers so that every single school in New York City has mental health support on-site through a social worker or mental health practitioner.”
“One of the real benefits of virtual care is that when this (pandemic) happened, we were able to take care of front line and medical workers,” said Dr. Amy Cirbus, Director of Clinical Content at Talkspace. “This conversation is so great because it puts everyone in a situation to be understanding that we are all in this together regardless of socioeconomic status, background, or where you are.”
To watch “Back-to-School in a Pandemic: Coping and Thriving in the New Normal,” please click here.
Talkspace is a leading virtual behavioral healthcare company enabled by a purpose-built technology platform. As a digital healthcare company, all care is delivered through an easy-to-use and fully encrypted web and mobile platform, consistent with HIPAA and other state regulatory requirements.
Today, the need for care feels more urgent than ever. When seeking treatment, whether it’s psychiatry or adolescent, individual or couples therapy, Talkspace offers treatment options for almost every need. With Talkspace, members can send their dedicated therapists text, video, and voice messages anytime, from anywhere, and engage in live video sessions. As of May 2021, over 2 million people have used Talkspace, and over 55 million lives are covered for Talkspace through insurance and employee assistance programs or other network behavioral health paid benefit programs.
ABOUT NEW YORK LIBERTY
The New York Liberty was founded on October 30, 1996 and is one of three original franchises remaining in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). The Liberty have made four WNBA Finals appearances in its 25-year history. Owned by Joe and Clara Tsai, owners of the Brooklyn Nets, the Liberty play its home games at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. For more information, please visit www.nyliberty.com.