The approach to mental health has certainly gone through a paradigm shift as more people have grown comfortable in addressing what has largely been a cultural and societal taboo. That is especially true in the MENA and Gulf region where tackling mental health isn’t only a matter of awareness and acceptance but of access. A UAE-based mental health app and platform, TalkTime, is set to take the lead on closing the gap between mental health awareness and access to it.
Co-founder and CEO, Omar Gharaibeh, discusses his main pillars for TalkTime: affordability, anonymity, and access. “Our motto is: Convenient, secure, and confidential online therapy from the comfort of your home. Anytime and anywhere.” And that’s exactly what TalkTime offers.
The platform is home to 30+ therapists who have an average of 8 years of experience and offer a wide range of expertise. Whether you’re an individual, a couple, a teenager, or a family, there’s someone for you.
Majd Habbal, co-founder and practicing psychologist shares that while their therapists offer a diverse range of expertise they are all trained in evidence-based therapy - something that sets TalkTime apart from many other platforms. “Evidence-based therapy is best described as the application of research-based treatment that is tailored by an experienced therapist to meet the individual needs of patients,” explains Majd. Some examples of interventions used are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) which have proved effective and are applied to a wide array of mental conditions, such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Phobia, Panic Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Eating Disorders etc. Further, the platform also aims to empower individuals into understanding their own behaviors. It offers a plethora of articles that are based on academic research that cover several topics from anger management issues to eating disorders to understanding fundamentals of wellness and health.
To get started with TalkTime, the journey is simple. By visiting the platform online, you’ll start with an assessment that aims to understand your feelings and what you’re looking for. From there, the platform’s algorithm matches you to the right therapist. Once you’ve been matched you have the choice to choose from three plans: individual session, the starter pack and the premium plan. And just like that - from anywhere and anytime - you are on a journey to bettering you. Whether through a call, a text or a video session.
One of its defining features as well is its corporate empowerment program. There’s no doubt that the UAE is a haven for entrepreneurs and corporate life. People from all over the world flock to the region because of its promise and potential. TalkTime recognizes the landscape with which it pertains to. When speaking to Omar, he explains why their corporate empowerment program is a fundamental program for TalkTime.
“In order for people to really thrive professionally, they need to thrive on a personal level. But time is a precious and rare commodity to so many working professionals that they tend to overlook their own personal well-being.” The idea with TalkTime is that in addition to it being affordable, it’s therapy on their own terms.
More so, the mere fact that TalkTime is a digital platform already removes the cultural stigmas against therapy. People tend to feel shame or fear when it comes to reaching out for help. But given that TalkTime is offering therapy online and that confidentiality is at its core, the elements of shame and fear are removed. TalkTime is a platform that’s looking to not only make mental health accessible but give people the ability and the choice to take control of their time, and empower them to invest in themselves and lead better and healthier lives.