Travis Scott has received significant criticism since the fatal incident at his Astroworld musical festival in Houston, leaving nine people dead. Earlier this week, the rapper announced that all festival attendees would receive a free month of BetterHelp.
An app that boasts convenient methods to connect with a licensed professional, BetterHelp offers counseling through text, phone, and video conversations. While some people suspect the announcement was a way for the company and Scott to profit off of trauma, the company clarified it was not in a paid partnership with the rapper.
In a statement released Thursday, BetterHelp clarified its position and highlighted several other tragic occurrences with support.
“We have previously provided free support to those who were impacted by Hurricane Dorian, the El Paso shooting, the California Wildfires, the evacuations from Afghanistan, and other events in which mental health support was needed quickly on a large scale,” the company’s statement read.
The company also made it clear that it would not charge people who sign up using the Scott offer following the first month. BetterHelp said it would offer “extended therapy support” following the end of one month.
Also, trauma and psychology experts see some potential in the offer. Anka A. Vujanovic, the director of the Trauma and Stress Studies Center at the University of Houston, told NBC News that most people recover from a traumatic incident within weeks after the trauma.
“The distress that people would experience in that immediate aftermath dissipates gradually, over the days and weeks following the trauma for most people,” Vujanovic told NBC News. “So usually within days or weeks after a trauma, most people recover. If the symptoms are sustained for usually about a month or more following a trauma, that’s usually a good marker for the need for professional support.”
If someone needs assistance following that time, Vujanovic says it’s essential to make sure that they get the proper care specified to their issue.
“Most of those evidence-based protocols, if we’re looking at cognitive behavioral therapy, which tends to be the most effective type of treatments for any of these conditions,” said Vujanovic. “Treatment programs generally are 12 to 16 sessions with a licensed mental health professional who’s trained in those approaches.”