Venus Williams is widely regarded as one of the top ten women’s tennis players of all-time, but her latest initiative has more to do with a different type of health than the physical boost provided by sports.
This week, the tennis star announced her partnership with BetterHelp and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), in hopes of providing a greatly needed service: mental health therapy.
Prior to announcing the agreement, Williams said that mental health challenges are something that affect all people regardless of their social status or background.
“The challenge of taking care of our mental health through the ups and downs of life is something that all of us, no matter our background, can relate to,” Williams said in a statement.
The 41-year-old tennis legend added that it’s important to create an open climate of talking about these issues so that everyone can get the help they need.
The hope is that her name and long history of success will encourage those who typically don’t get mental services to reconsider, and seek the health they need.
“Now more than ever, we need to create an accepting and open environment to seek professional mental health therapy, which is why I am so excited to partner with BetterHelp and the WTA to provide access to free therapy and help raise awareness,” she added.
Mental health has become a greater concern since March of last year, as about 4 in 10 adults have suffered from “symptoms of anxiety or depressive order” since the COVID situation began, or about 40% according to a study published by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
“Many people (are) experiencing situations linked to poor mental health outcomes, such as isolation and job loss, the study, published in February 2021, said.
How to Tap Into Free Mental Health Resources
The first $1 million for Williams’s program is available now while the second $1 million will be “covered by BetterHelp for each ace hit by WTA players for the remainder of the 2021 Tour season,” according to a report from People Magazine.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Venus and the WTA to bring greater awareness and access to therapy,” BetterHelp President Alon Matas said in a statement.
“Especially today, it’s important that we take care of our mental well-being, and therapy provides the space and time to do just that.
“We’re incredibly excited to support the WTA’s like-minded goals and partner with Venus to continue making therapy more accessible.”
Those who wish to take advantage of the services, which are offered free of charge for one month, can sign up on the BetterHelp website by clicking on this link.
All who use the service must cancel after the month-long period to avoid being charged.