LOS ANGELES, March 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- iExhale, an online mental wellness service that combines an anonymous social support network with on-demand therapy from licensed professionals, today announced it has closed a $1.86 million seed round led by Dorilton Capital to build and enhance its offerings, and expand its platform across the nation. Available for download in the iOS App Store with desktop and Android versions under development, iExhale offers the first truly integrated online service for those seeking a safe and friendly place to access mental health counseling, share their thoughts and feelings with peers, and lend support to others. Now available to residents of California (with more states coming), the platform offers support to anyone 14 years and older, including access to the social support network and other wellness tools, however safeguards require minors obtain parental consent before engaging in an actual therapy session.
iExhale strives to ensure that those who previously had no access to therapy, regardless of their race, class, location or age, now do. The heavy burden of inaccessibility to convenient, affordable mental health services is made clear in a report to Congress by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which reveals that a startling 55 percent of the nation's 3,100 counties have no practicing psychiatrists, psychologists or social workers. Yet, a study of the outcomes for 8,000 patients who used telemedicine services found no difference between the virtual appointment and an in-person visit, underscoring the vital role internet-based and telehealth options can serve in filling the gap.
"iExhale offers a safe, non-judgmental environment where you can feel supported and understood while encouraging life-affirming change," said Aaron Robin, co-founder and CEO of iExhale. "What we do matters greatly because far too many people still struggle to get the help they need due to distance, isolation, fear and even shame. iExhale empowers you to take control of your life with a simple and convenient way to connect with therapists and the hidden community of friends and supporters around you."
According to a recent white paper by NCC DATA Inc., telehealth services like iExhale are a game changer in how healthcare is delivered and consumed, with 74 percent of patients in the U.S. indicating that they would use these options and are comfortable communicating with their healthcare provider using technology instead of seeing them in person.
iExhale provides a blend of features for those who need a helping hand, or have a hand to lend. Users can simply download the iExhale app to their iPhone or iPad, and with a touch of a button schedule a 45-minute phone session with a licensed therapist for $64.99. The therapist will call on a secure line to begin the session, and iExhale does not require a monthly subscription so one-off sessions can be booked at any time they are needed. 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 company also announced today that Kim Hoedeman, CEO and co-founder of Benevolent Enabler, a mobile-donation platform for millennials, and a former WPP executive, has been named to the board of advisors at iExhale. Hoedeman said, "Achieving mental wellness means finding a balance in all areas of life. iExhale makes it easier to take good care of yourself with help from qualified therapists and a vibrant, active network of individuals willing to listen and support one another through the good times and the bad."
iExhale makes getting started easy with Meet a Therapist, a free and informal 48-hour period meant to help users and therapists get to know one another with no commitment. Because some users may feel apprehensive about using the iExhale service, the Meet a Therapist feature introduces them to a therapist via in-app messaging so they can find the right person before booking a phone session. The feature can be used to ask questions about topics such as the therapist's qualifications and experience, how therapy works and what to expect. Meet A Therapist is intended to answer questions about therapy rather than act as a therapeutic service, so minors can utilize the service without parental consent, however should a minor try to book a session they are required to first obtain consent from a parent or legal guardian.
Each therapist using the iExhale platform goes through a thorough vetting process to ensure they are qualified and licensed to provide services to the public. Profiles of individual therapists, which provide details regarding experience, expertise, specialties and certifications, can be browsed according to Care Categories that make it easy to find just the right practitioner for your needs. The service accepts only credentialed mental-health professionals in good standing including Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT), Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC), Licensed Educational Psychologists (LEP), Doctors of Philosophy (Ph.D.), and Doctors of Psychology (Psy.D.).
Users can also log on to browse the anonymous social support network and support the community by reacting to what people share and reposting things that they identify with. For example, the "How Are You Feeling?" feature lets you choose an emotion that expresses how you feel, write a thought, and swipe through pre-loaded pictures to show what's on your mind and in your heart. 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. There is no free-form commenting or direct user-to-user messaging enabled in the network.
Aaron Robin continued, "Research shows that happiness is greater when you give to others rather than receive. iExhale has built a community around the value of giving, so instead of posting to get a response, we post to acknowledge, give back and appreciate the importance of those around us. We want to elevate the positive, supportive connection between users."
The iExhale community helps people know they are not alone. Each user has a profile which contains all the photos they have shared on the network, along with reactions received. It provides a sort of personal diary to help keep track of how you feel or as a way to monitor your emotions over time. The social support network also lets you create and react to community posts, send fun stickers to react to photos, share empathy, support others and be supported in your journey to emotional wellness and happiness.
iExhale is the first truly integrated online mental wellness platform that combines an anonymous social support network with on-demand therapy from licensed professionals. The iExhale app is available in the iOS App Store with desktop and Android versions under development. It's a positive and supportive community-oriented place to access mental health counseling, share thoughts and feelings with peers, and offer support to others. The service is fully HIPPA- and COPPA-compliant, providing safe and secure therapy options at the touch of a button including virtually 24/7 availability of 45-minute phone sessions with a licensed therapist for $64.99. To learn more go to iExhale or download the app and get started with no commitment or subscription required.
iExhale is a trademark or registered trademark of iExhale LLC in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective holders.
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