Travis Scott Astroworld BetterHelp controversy explained

“Did we just go from a tragedy to a BetterHelp fire partnership?”

Following the Astroworld tragedy, Travis Scott and the mental health app BetterHelp have announced a month of free therapy for those affected – and it has garnered criticism.

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At the Travis’ festival, a “mass injury” event led to the deaths of at least 8 people and hundreds injured – and over a dozen lawsuits have already been filed. Many in the crowd reported shocking experiences of being unable to breathe and being crushed.

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A concertgoer told BuzzFeed News: “Honestly, I thought I was going to die.”

On Monday, Travis said in a statement released through his representatives that he would cover the funeral costs for those who died at Astroworld – and partner with BetterHelp to provide a month of free virtual therapy to festival goers.

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I’ve posted this before, but it’s totally sick that Travis Scott is offering a free month of BetterHelp to people who are probably suffering from PTSD. This is the quality of care you get at @betterhelp from therapists who are underpaid and overburdened with absurd case volumes.

Twitter: @eatinginmycar

In an email exchange with BuzzFeed, founder and president Alon Matas said it was Travis ‘team that reached out to BetterHelp, writing: “After the tragic event over the weekend, Travis’ team contacted us and asked how we could provide help. to them. affected. “

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One of the criticisms of the offer was that it was only for a month, a relatively short period – especially for trauma work. Originally, the page for Astroworld read: “BetterHelp offers one month of therapy to those affected.”

Later, it seemed that the page changed to say that The Cactus Jack Foundation – also called the Travis Scott Foundation – would “cover a month of therapy” and that people could contact the foundation for further coverage. After one month, BetterHelp typically charges between $ 60 and $ 90 per month. week.

In an email to BuzzFeed, Matas wrote that “BetterHelp and Travis together will cover the cost of providing a month of free therapy by licensed therapists so people in need can get professional help.” He also denied that BetterHelp paid Travis or “earned by selling people’s data to advertisers or third parties.”

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BetterHelp’s privacy policy states that people’s information may be shared, “For business purposes and advertising.” Jezebel has previously investigated the reported connection between BetterHelp’s data and Facebook.

But there is the question of whether an app like BetterHelp is at all suitable for helping people in a situation like Astroworld. The site’s frequently asked questions say that BetterHelp is not suitable if you are a minor – as many of the Astroworld participants were – or if “you are in an acute crisis or emergency.” BetterHelp can also not be used to get a clinical diagnosis or medication.

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In response to this, Matas said that BetterHelp is “a therapy service and therapy is not the solution for anyone who needs immediate help with an acute crisis.” In the same email, he also listed the other events that BetterHelp allegedly offered free therapy for: “Hurricane Dorian, Hurricane Michael, Hurricane Ida, the Gilroy shooting, the El Paso shooting, the California forest fires, the evacuations from Afghanistan.”

Matas also added: “Getting therapy is not conditional on waiving any legal rights, and registration should not prevent anyone from participating in lawsuits or lawsuits of any kind.”

That said, this is not the first time BetterHelp has worked on celebrities either – both Venus Williams and Ariana Grande have been offering free months of BetterHelp therapy lately, with Ariana also offering an additional 15% off the second month.

BetterHelp has also been criticized in the past, especially in 2018 over its sponsorships with YouTubers – when questions were raised about the quality of the therapists and the app’s pricing. Although BetterHelp appears to have changed its terms of service since then, complaints about the quality of the service continue.

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We will keep you updated as the details continue to emerge from Astroworld.

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