I don't normally write this kind of content, but I'm more than a little pissed off after seeing people claiming this service is actually not a scam when it is totally a scam, I'm going to do it anyway. This topic here is BetterHelp, and why you should stay the hell away from them and anyone promoting them is absolute bullshit and didn't do even the most basic of research into this company before accepting sponsorship from them. Here's the gist of it. The service claims to provide counseling via chat with qualified professionals at a low cost to the person, and pushes the whole if you struggle with seeing someone face to face, blah blah. Specifically preying on people with social anxiety. You can find their website here and read for yourself. If I find more info on these people, I'll add to this later. Let's break down a things. 1. Low cost. This service seems to be specifically presuming the person in question has likely never really been to a therapist before or dealt with one, because their costs aren't actually that impressive. I've heard all the YouTubers give their spiel about how the average therapy session costs like $200 or more per session, and this is true of some therapists. But most in my area don't charge anywhere near that and for the ones who do, that's also without an insurance co-pay price which for some would be much cheaper than Better Help; and for those who don't have insurance and have had to find a therapist before, I'm sure you already know about this thing called a sliding scale. Sliding scales are specifically to help people who have little income and may not have insurance/have shitty insurance. In my area, the average bottom end of most therapists sliding scale is $40-80, depending on specialization. This will vary by location, but for my area, this service doesn't offer anything "low cost" compared to what's already available in person nearby to people with low income. But here's some more info. They charge you for a full month at once, which a therapist would never do. How the hell is this LOW COST if you're being charged a large lump sum at once? What if you only contacted your counselor twice a month? Why are you being charged like this? That's not how any therapists or psychiatrists I've ever heard of operates. Here's the fine print from the website itself when you go to sign-up: "By clicking the button above, you authorize enrollment for your BetterHelp subscription to renew automatically on a monthly (every 4 weeks) basis. The monthly cost is $260 USD ($65 x 4 weeks). See Terms of Use for more details." And for the financial aid, when I tried looking into that, it's the same: "By clicking the button above, you authorize enrollment for your BetterHelp subscription to renew automatically on a monthly (every 4 weeks) basis. The original monthly cost is $260 USD ($65 x 4 weeks). With your financial aid discount, the monthly cost will be reduced to $156 USD. Please note that your financial aid discount will expire on Oct 31, 2018. See Terms of Use for more details." Apparently, my aid would expire within less than a month from today as well. If I'm reading this correctly, my first month would be reduced, but only that month, and the service is an automatically renewing one. What kind of discount is that? But onto the bigger issue. 2. TOS and false claims. I'm just going to c+p parts of their TOS for you to read. This where I say none of these people either bothered to look into this company or did, and just didn't give a fuck because they straight up tell you they're full of shit. It's right there. "We make no representation or warranty whatsoever as to whether you will find the Counselor Services relevant, useful, correct, relevant, satisfactory or suitable to your needs." Double relevant, LOL. "We do not control the quality of the Counselor Services and we do not determine whether any Counselor is qualified to provide any specific service as well as whether a Counselor is categorized correctly or matched correctly to you." "While we may try to do so from time to time, in our sole discretion, you acknowledge that we do not represent to verify, and do not guarantee the verification of, the skills, degrees, qualifications, licensure, certification, credentials, competence or background of any Counselor. It is your responsibility to conduct independent verification regarding any Counselor that provides you with Counselor Services (whether through the Platform or not) and we strongly recommend that you will conduct this verification prior to communicating with any Counselor through the Platform and on a continuous basis as you use the Platform." "You agree, confirm and acknowledge that although the Counselor may provide the Counselor Services through the Platform, we cannot assess whether the use of the Counselor, the Counselor Services or the Platform is right and suitable for your needs. THE PLATFORM DOES NOT INCLUDE THE PROVISION OF MEDICAL CARE, MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES, OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL SERVICES BY US. As operators of the Platform, our role is strictly limited to facilitating the communication between you and the Counselor and to enable the provision of the Counselor Services. It is up to you to consider and decide whether these services are appropriate for you or not." "You agree, confirm and acknowledge that you are aware of the fact that the Counselor Services are not a complete substitute for a face-to-face examination and/or session by a licensed qualified professional. You should never rely on or make health or well-being decisions which are primarily based on information provided as part of the Counselor Services. Furthermore, we strongly recommend that you will consider seeking advice by having an in-person appointment with a licensed and qualified professional. Never disregard, avoid, or delay in obtaining medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare counselor, by face-to-face appointment, because of information or advice you received through the Platform." "THE PLATFORM IS NOT INTENDED FOR DIAGNOSIS, INCLUDING INFORMATION REGARDING WHICH DRUGS OR TREATMENT THAT MAY BE APPROPRIATE FOR YOU, AND YOU SHOULD DISREGARD ANY SUCH ADVICE IF DELIVERED THROUGH THE PLAFORM." I honestly don't need to comment on any of this shit. They straight up tell you they're not providing mental health services, and they don't necessary background check anyone's credentials. This all pretty much directly contradicts what they claim to do on the front page. 3. Privacy Policy "When you use the Platform, our servers or servers of third party services automatically record information that your browser sends ("Log Data"). This Log Data may include, but not limited to, information such as your computer, Internet Protocol address ("IP"), pages that you visit and the time spent on those pages, actions that you take and other statistics. We may use this information, either by itself or in conjunction with other information for the following purposes: Monitor, analyze and improve the use and functionality of the Platform, the Platform's technical operation and the match of the Platform functionality to your needs and preferences." "While using the Platform you and a Provider would likely write or say things by means of text-based communication (such as messages), verbal communication or video communication, either internally or to each other (collectively "Session Content"). The Session Content is shared with the Provider(s) that work with you. The Session Content may be used, either by itself or in conjunction with other information, for the following purposes: Let a Provider provide the service to you. Supervise, administer and monitor the service. Allow professional supervision to the Provider by qualified professionals." "We may employ third party companies and individuals to facilitate our Platform, to perform certain tasks which are related to the Platform or to provide audit, legal, operational or other services for us. These tasks include, but not limited to, customer service, technical maintenance, monitoring, email management and communication, database management, billing and payment processing, reporting and analytics. When needed we may disclose information, including Personal Information, to such third parties but we will try to limit the Personal Information disclosed to the minimum necessary to perform their task." "Note that all communications transmitted through the Platform, may be recorded or monitored for quality assurance and training purposes and become part of your file and records." I'm making a note here that it appears that "monitoring" may be done by a third party, which suggests pretty much anyone may be seeing your highly personal exchanges. "We may share aggregated information that does not include any Personal Information with third parties for any purpose, including but not limited to industry analysis, research, business transactions and public relations." "We may sell or transfer some or all of our assets, including your Personal Information, in connection with a merger, acquisition, consolidation, joint venture, reorganization or sale of assets. Such transactions would be covered by a confidentiality agreement." This is a lot of fluff that basically says they're totally going to sell your data en mass to corporations, but they're trying to make it sound like it's not that bad. Considering this advertises itself as a mental health service, is it really ethical to sell this kind of information? Or allow people to monitor sessions, especially someone who may be from a third party unrelated to the company? But hey, their fine print technically says they don't provide those kind of services, so I guess that checks out. 4. Some comments from the founder's Reddit account. "Hey, if you're not satisfied with your therapist, have you considered switching? There are thousands of therapists on the platform. Disclosure: I'm BetterHelp's founder." How do you have thousands of licensed therapists on your company that's only a few years old? "@samuentaga, while I'd love to see more support from the healthcare system towards mental health, there are people who need help and we need to see how we can help them now rather than wait for macro changes. FYI, the government-supported mental health services in other countries, including those with socialized healthcare, aren't better - and often much worse - then those is the US. Disclosure: I'm BetterHelp's founder." "tealparadise, thanks for asking! All therapists are licensed as either MFTs, LCSWs, LPCs or psychologists. Calls (whether video or phone) are pre-scheduled based on the provider's availability. There is no "phone ringing", the provider is the one initiating the session at the booked time." But they don't check this information, so how do they know this is really true? Also, their site claims to have over 2000 licensed professionals. Let that number sink in. Over 2000. "Hi, Alon here, I'm BetterHelp's founder. I'm so sorry you had a frustrating experience! Some thing to clarify: To Tarais comment: While we don't offer a free trial to everybody all the time, when a free trial is offered it is indeed free. This means that you will get charged only at the end of the trial and you will never get charged if you cancelled the service during the trial period. To Brickick comment: With our financial aid you can pay considerably less than $260/mo so there must be some kind of confusion. Please contact our support team (contact@betterhelp.com) so they can check it for you. To Lewispenis & jjstrange13 comments: Yes, online counseling isn't for everyone and isn't the right solution for every scenario. We'd prefer not to have you as a subscriber (and take your money) than to provide you with a service that's not adequate. While we definitely "lose business", we think it's safer and fairer. We have core values that prevent us from offering something that we think won't be useful, and I hope you understand. To Weltensittich comment: Unfortunately, professional counseling by a licensed therapist with at least 7 years of education and training in the field can't be purchased for $10 per hour. Please note that in-office counseling typically cost around $100 to $250 per hour." I already pointed out this is bullshit, because sliding scales and insurance co-pays. Their average monthly costs, which they charge all at once, is more than what my wife and I were paying when she was seeing a therapist in our area, and her therapist's sliding scale was one of the higher ones in our area. On another note, Alon Matas and his co-founder, Danny Bragonier, previously co-founded Media Boost together, a marketing company. In college, Bragonier studied statistics. 5. Articles about serious conditions that require extensive treatment linking back to their own website services when telling readers they need to see a licensed professional. People who have suicidal thoughts or self-harm are rejected by this service, likely because BH would get in some serious legal trouble if they took these patients given they're not actually providing any medical services, but here's an article about Borderline Personality Disorder that links to their own service when suggesting people get help. Spoiler alert, according to the DSM V, self-harm, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts are so common BPD that these characteristics are mentioned in the diagnostic criteria. The article even mentions it. But you will be rejected if you have this issue, and they don't even guarantee any of their licensed professionals are actually licensed professionals. The fuck. And here's another one. And another. AND ANOTHER. BTW, if you look up "borderline" on their search, this last article comes up in the category "Bipolar", a completely different disorder. Pfft. Here's also one about self-harm that links to their services, and claims they have people specially trained for that. And one for self-harm that has two links connecting them to tattoo related articles and promotes getting tattoos to cover self-harm scars, which also seems weird to even link to. 6. Weird shit in the FAQ. In their FAQ, I found a study they linked that is uploaded directly to their website that was supposedly done just on their service to show how effective it is. It does not appear to have ever been published in any peer-reviewed journal, as no journal is referenced in the pdf itself nor does searching for the title bring up any scientific/medical journal. You can see it here. I've uploaded a back-up copy in case they delete it. I've read plenty of studies in my life, for academic and for personal reasons, and this format looks...weird. Who did they publish this with? There's no information. Why is there so much space like this? Most papers I've read, due to publishing restrictions, wouldn't allow something like this. It's 24 pages long the way its formatted. Something seems off, especially since I can't find this study anywhere but on their website outside of articles quoting it. If I were to cite something like this in an academic paper, it would never fly! Using my university's database search, I was not able to find this study tied to any scholarly, peer-reviewed journal either. There's also this: "If you wish for any of your information or records to be released to a third party, please let your counselor know. Your counselor will send you an authorization form that you will need to fill and sign before your information can be released." Except their fine print says they would do this anyway, and you've already agreed to it by agreeing to their terms. 7. Weird building location. So, I expected an office for this place. Apparently, their main HQ is...a warehouse??? Google maps. 8. Teladoc's acquisition. BetterHelp is currently owned by Teladoc. They've acquired a lot of health-related businesses. See here Teladoc's been involved in a few legal issues in more than one state. You can read reviews of Teladoc's services here and here 9. Suspiciously similar terms, right down to not proofreading. I will admit I am the king of typos, but you know, I'm not running a business either. Check out ReGain's, a marriage counseling service, terms. Remember these? "We make no representation or warranty whatsoever as to whether you will find the Counselor Services relevant, useful, correct, relevant, satisfactory or suitable to your needs." They even put relevant twice in here, just like Better Help! LOL. "We do not control the quality of the Counselor Services and we do not determine whether any Counselor is qualified to provide any specific service as well as whether a Counselor is categorized correctly or matched correctly to you." "While we may try to do so from time to time, in our sole discretion, you acknowledge that we do not represent to verify, and do not guarantee the verification of, the skills, degrees, qualifications, licensure, certification, credentials, competence or background of any Counselor. It is your responsibility to conduct independent verification regarding any Counselor that provides you with Counselor Services (whether through the Platform or not) and we strongly recommend that you will conduct this verification prior to communicating with any Counselor through the Platform and on a continuous basis as you use the Platform." And so on, because it's the same damn thing! Even the titles of the sections are 100% the same. This is the exact same terms. It's also Virtual Therapist Network's. And The Help Talk. And Torrch. And ConsulTrust. All of these are c+p'ed, or at least this has been passed around to all these people to use. The big thing is it's all exactly the same, which means it includes the stipulation that NONE OF THESE SERVICES ARE GUARANTEEING THAT THEY HAVE CHECKED THE QUALIFICATIONS OF ANYONE WHO THEIR CLIENTS MAY INTERACT WITH. I'm going to link this on the About page, because I really don't have anywhere to put this and I don't want it to be hard to find either. I will likely be posting a list of all the YTers who've been doing deals with this company in the future. ETA: Some more things I've found since writing this up earlier. 10. Pride Counseling and Faithful Counseling If you say you're LGBT, BH will suggest redirecting you to another service called Pride Counseling. It's basically the same service, and appears to also be run by them. Same terms, same privacy policy, and of course, before getting any help, you're given this: "By clicking the button above, you authorize enrollment for your Pride Counseling subscription to renew automatically on a monthly (every 4 weeks) basis. The monthly cost is $260 USD ($65 x 4 weeks). See Terms of Use for more details." This time for financial aid, I gave different information than I did in the above quote and basically as bad off as one could get, and I still only got a 40% discount, with the same less than a month from now expiration date: "By clicking the button above, you authorize enrollment for your Pride Counseling subscription to renew automatically on a monthly (every 4 weeks) basis. The original monthly cost is $260 USD ($65 x 4 weeks). With your financial aid discount, the monthly cost will be reduced to $156 USD. Please note that your financial aid discount will expire on Oct 31, 2018. See Terms of Use for more details." I was then paired with someone, and I noticed it was the same person they paired me with months ago when I first casually looked into this service when I saw an ad on Reddit and noped out when I was expected to give a credit card before even trying anything. I decided to search up the lady, and found she also appears on another similar service, Faithful Counseling, which appears to also be part of BH. In looking into Pride Counseling, I made up completely different info, claiming I was a lesbian trans woman who was comfortable with her identity, not religious, and did not want a religious counselor. They then paired me with a counselor who is also on their religious version of the service. That makes senses. Also, their religious version is exclusively Christian. There is nothing offered for any other religion. Here is their "Statement of Faith". I don't really care, personally, that they have a Christian version, but I am confused why saying I don't want someone who focuses on religion that they then pair me with someone on their Christian service. For the record, when I first looked into this company months ago, I was honest about my information and listed myself there as bisexual, not religious, and that I did not want a counselor who did religious treatment. Why is it when I put this information in both times (LGBT, not religious, don't want a religious therapist) that I get a therapist who is also on their Christian version of the site? What. When I did the earlier attempt for the main site today and put that I didn't mind what kind of therapist I got and that I was gay and depressed, I was matched with a therapist who's work experience was primarily with substance abuse patients. Huh??? I'm really wondering how they pair people off, because none of this seems to make any sense. And for having +2000 therapists, how did I manage to get the same therapist twice with only three elements in their long survey being the same? Something doesn't add up here. 11. Nothing clear on certification of any kind They have the logo for HIPAA on the bottom of their site, to suggest to the visiting they adhere to it. Nowhere is there any mention of them being vetted by any official organization. 12. Shady image sources Many of the pictures on the articles on the site have useless sources. They just say "pixabay" or "flicker" with no further information. This is particularly galling to me in regards to flicker, as I used to use this service myself and while I wouldn't give a shit if someone posted my stuff uncredited, but I can't confirm if any of these images are free to use in the way they're being used. Flicker is not a general free stock site. This makes about as much sense to me as putting "source: deviantart.com" or "source: pixiv.net". 13. Kati Morton & The Rewired Soul There are so many YTers who have done ads for this company, it's just ridiculous. You can view a list here. I'm going to give special attention to two Youtubers. The first being Kati Morton, a LMFT who posts "educational" videos on YT while constantly plugging her own crap. I'm not really sure why a licensed therapist needs both a literary agent and a talent manager, but she references them on her website while I had to dig to find out what university she even got her degree from. (A private Christian university, Pepperidge University, which I found from a reference on her author page on a publishing house she links on her website. Why is where she got her degree from not right there in her bio on her official website? She doesn't hide it on Tumblr, but her website bio for a professional is very lacking.) She also doesn't appear to have been a licensed practitioner for more than a few years, since searching on her site's blog pulls up her taking the first of her licensing exams in 2014, yet she's a big mental health figure on YT and I cannot find where she is practicing at or how to acquire her professional services. Likely unrelated, but I got a laugh out of her new book about mental health that she's plugging in everything has a cover depicting a text exchange. She's been pushing this company for a while, especially recently. There's a lot of people who are pushing this shit on YT, and ads have popped up on Reddit, Facebook, and Instagram, but you would think that an actual licensed therapists would know better just from glancing at what's on their site. Then again, she charges $5 a month to get a journal prompt/inspirational quote texted to your phone, so I probably shouldn't expect standards. Her referral link contains "influencelogic", which many of the other YouTubers also have in theirs. (RogueRocket being the other one seen in many.) What is InflcuenceLogic? See for yourself. Yeah, these people are absolutely selling your info to shady people. She's also been popping up in the videos of other YTers that are doing plugs for BH, such as Shane Dawson (all of his Jake Paul series so far has links to BH at least in the description, if not a promo from Shane himself in the videos), Jason Nash (current boyfriend of Trisha Paytas, who also promoted BH and is also a friend of Shane Dawson), and Jacksepticeye. Morton seems to be the YT face of BH in spite of being the person who should know better than anyone they're bullshit. ETA: I have been able to confirm that Kati does appear to have a LMFT license, which I was wondering if she might be a paid actress or something, but she does have a license and appears to have an office in a commercial/medical building, but I am still having a hard time figuring out how she accepts patients and what she claims to do in treatment. While searching through this, I was able to find this review left on a page that I found when searching her license number. I personally take issue with this behavior of hers as well. During the Shane series, Shane supposedly brought her in for her professional opinion and to see if Jake could be diagnosed, and claimed she was an expert who could diagnose him. Unless CA has some very unusual rules, as a LMFT, she cannot diagnose anyone with ASPD and this would be well outside her field of exterise. I also cannot find her specific office on Google Maps, nor reviews for her. Outside this one person's complaints about her YT behavior, I cannot find reviews of her actual counseling services anywhere online. It appears she got her license in late 2014, which lines up with that YT video about her discussing her exam results. Her linkedin profile contains some very confusing information. What I've gathered from what she's said online and from her linkedin page is that her experience has primarily been with eating disorders. She's also done a few ASMR videos, inlcuding one last month, which of course has a link to BetterHelp. I bring this up because one of the "clusters" of people on YT who've been pushing BH a lot have been ASMR people. Now onto the other person I want to bring attention to, just because I can't believe someone would be so blatantly dishonest like this. This asshole made a video defending BH about how they're not a scam, because he's gotten a sponsorship deal from them before. And then to prove he's a good guy, he links to a different service in his description. Except THAT SERVICE IS A LINK THAT REDIRECTS TO BETTERHELP.COM!! Tryonlinetherapy.com is also BetterHelp.com just like Pride Counseling and Faithful Counseling are! It's all the same! My wife made this connection when she noticed while looking through Kati Morton's videos that her first deal with them used a different URL than the one I linked earlier and she went back and looked at this guy's link. What the fuck is going on here?! Why the lying? 14. AMSA and Other Recs AMSA also promotes this service. BH has a press page, where you can view all the journalists and other people who apparently can't read a TOS. What outstanding journalism. 15. BBB complaints. Here's their page of complaints on the BBB. 16. More on Alon Matas. "Alon: So MediaBoost started as a technology company for online advertisers trying to help online advertisers in optimizing their campaigns. At some point, instead of selling technology, we actually used this technology for performance-based advertising. So we sold the technology to ourselves in order to play in the affiliate marketing/performance marketing game and help publishers or advertisers to promote their products, where we took the risk. We were actually doing the advertising." "Alon: So after I was–basically it was a conjunction of something methodological that I was looking for and I had my personal feelings. I was looking for a marketplace. All my previous startups were kind of marketplaces connected people looking for something with providers providing this thing. What I didn’t want to–kind of the marketplace I wanted to build is a marketplace where the actual service is part of the marketplace, it’s not just a matching marketplace." "Alon: In retrospect, actually, I think we did the test wrong. My background–and also, Danny, my cofounder that joined me and we started together–is with search-based advertising. When you do things that are intent-based, I mentioned it earlier, like moving van, you go to people who search for something. So if someone is searching for a moving company, you target them. The way we started this, because we’re Google guys and we spent tens of millions of dollars on Google over three companies, then we went to Google." "Andrew: They’re an Israeli company just like you were. They’re such a freaking fantastic tool that lets you spy on what everyone does. Anyone who’s doing a lot of ad buys, a lot of competition has got to check out these guys at SimilarWeb. They gave me an account after I interviewed a guy who sold his company to them and I’ve just been hooked because it lets me see where is your traffic coming from. Where’s your traffic going? If you’re in a market where you’re trying to compete with someone else and say, “Where are they getting their traffic?” It’s so helpful to actually see where the traffic is coming from, to see where you, for example, are getting reviews. Anyway, they’re saying Workable is one place where you’re sending a lot of traffic to. I’m wondering why you would send traffic to a job site? Alon: I love Workable. Or is a friend and he showed me a very initial version of SimilarWeb. He showed me a very first version of SimilarWeb I think a year before it got launched. I think it really is an awesome tool that will dominate the market and will kick out Alexa and some of these–" "Andrew: You sold the company? Alon: Correct. Andrew: Before you sold it, you told our producer you were putting your family in financial danger. You had a lot of credit card debt. How much credit card debt did you have? Alon: Six figures. Andrew: Six figures?" Source 17. THERE IS A SPANISH VERSION OF THIS SHIT Now en español, to scam all you latinos out there. Terappeuta is yet another BH site. I decided to go through the process again to see if there were any major differences. I can't find the bullshit research pdf on the Spanish FAQ page, but I did find a lot of parts on the site where parts were just left half/untranslated. See here, here, here, here, and here. The last one I find particularly funny, since one of the things that will get you rejected is being suicidal. They failed to translate both the question and the answer except for one response, "nunca". I was not redirected to any Spanish version of Faithful Counseling or Pride Counseling, so I presume those must not be translated. 18. FOUND MORE SITES So, ReGain didn't have the same TOS for nothing. THEY ARE THE SAME SERVICE. I noticed when I went to look up one of the therapists advertised on their site on Google, and she came up on their site...with the same info. I realized when I went through their service, it clearly had to be the same company. Here, their pricing and everything. See here and here. I was tipped off by Erica Harris, who was advertised to me on Terappeuta. She's everywhere, apparently. Then, I found Teen Counseling. Fucking Christ. How many sites do these people operate?! And here's that shady as hell TOS again. I've been trying to look up the therapists they've matched me with, and not a single one of them has their own website. Tracking down any information not from BH and its many related sites is practically impossible. Of the addresses I've looked up, they went to strange locations, like a strip mall, what looked like a house, and a car insurance company's building. WTH. Are some of these people even real? Only one person came up as having a page on Psychology Today's find a therapist section, and I still couldn't find much of anything beyond that. Once again, when I was watched to a counselor on ReGain after putting in that I was gay and did not want a faith-based counselor, that is precisely who they paired me with. I'm starting to wonder if this is intentional. 19. Business docs Someone posted these on kiwifarms, and I'm just uploading back-ups. Enjoy reading through their slimy campaign for world mental health day. Here's InfluenceLogic again, as well. This doc from 2016 states that BetterHelp is actually Compile, Inc but is doing business as BetterHelp. As to what this company is actually supposed to be, I'm not sure yet. Something seems really off here. And here's more proof that Compile, Inc is BetterHelp. And more proof. 20. The YT Channel of BetterHelp My wife brought it to my attention that they have a YT channel as well, albeit with very few videos. Interestingly, their videos have a lot of content about personality disorders, even if they don't know what those are, apparently. As seen here where they claim DID is a personality disorder (you know, cause it used to be called multiple personality disorder!), which is a disassociative disorder, alongside depesonalization disorder. Here's some screenshots of all their current videos uploaded. This doesn't look like the content you would expect from some service that can only help with "minor" things like anxiety and depression. Also, for those who don't know, DBT, while now being pushed more for other disorders, DBT was created for patients with Borderline Personality Disorder, and is still primarily used for patients with BPD. As another weird note, their BPD video has their most views for some reason. Now, to the fake comments. 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 Notice the bad grammar/weird sudden capitalization, some of the same users, some of the same phrases. These are clearly fake comments. There also seems to be a trend of some comments talking about horrible experiences with in-person therapy, as if to push any real viewers away from seeing a real professional out of fear and come to their shitty service. Also of note is that they've only been uploading since the last two months, despite having been in operation for several years now. Am I the only one who thinks its not a coincidence Shane Dawson is in the middle of an 8-part series with a dramatized view of anti-social personality disorder (which they keep calling "sociopaths", an outdated term), with every video so far mentioning BH, and involving Kati Morton, who's been promoting them for a long time now and still is? And that it's almost time for World Mental Health day again? There's some bullshit going on here. Why all this focus on personality disorders, which shows up a lot on their articles too? Another weird note, The Rewired Soul, who is pushing Kati and BH and pulled that shady shit, also claims to have BPD, which is odd to me. BPD is rarely diagnoses in men (due to gender biases in the medical field, not that it doesn't occur--similar gender issues are all over Cluster B--ASPD and NPD are commonly diagnosed in men, HPD and BPD in women). I'm not saying he doesn't have it, and if he really does have a history of substance abuse, it's very likely, but there a lot about BPD, which is relatively rare and serious disorder, that BH absolutely cannot help anyone with. The Rewired Soul also previous once claimed he had DID and caught himself switching on camera, then had to apologize with it. He also plugged in one of his video descriptions that if you have BPD and self-harm to give "trytherapyonline" a try, which currently redirects to BH, though from reading through all the kiwifarms stuff, used to link to a different company that was also owned by Teladoc. The Rewired Soul's BH link also has "InfluenceLogic" in the URL, like Kati. Much like Kati in her earlier time on YT, he's currently in the process of getting certified to be a licensed professional, and has ties to Teladoc/BH. This personality disorder thing. Some weird shit here. From my wife's looking into it, she can't find this guy talking about BPD past the last six months. Also, for a guy who hasn't been licensed yet, he doesn't mind offering some courses on his website and pushing his own book about mental health. Also, for a guy who claims that he has BPD and has only been talking about it for six months and didn't even know what it was a year ago, as of June, he mentions in a video he's relatively stable thanks to different practices, and plugs "tryonlinetherapy" for people with BPD again. BPD patients typically require years of treatment/practicing techniques to really be at the level this guy is claiming. So after two months, this guy's got his BPD pretty much under control? What?! This has got me wondering, especially since Shane's episode with Kati talking about "sociopaths" (anti-social personality disorder) uses a clip of her mentioning borderline personality disorder in his intro of her, is there a particular type of person they're wanting data on? For those who haven't looked into their site more, before you even get to having to put in your credit card, you have to go through a lengthy survey about your mental health first. So even if they deny you and don't end up selling off your personal conversations with a therapist, they're still getting a good chunk of information about you without even having to charge your bank account. Who wants this data? Maybe I'm overthinking this, but it's gotten me very suspicious. Could just be that that seems to be popular to talk about, and it's to drive people to the site. I don't know. 21. Terms updated As of October 4th, the following paragraph has been removed from BetterHelp, Teen Counseling, ReGain, Pride Counseling, Faithful Counseling and Terappeuta's terms: "While we may try to do so from time to time, in our sole discretion, you acknowledge that we do not represent to verify, and do not guarantee the verification of, the skills, degrees, qualifications, licensure, certification, credentials, competence or background of any Counselor. It is your responsibility to conduct independent verification regarding any Counselor that provides you with Counselor Services (whether through the Platform or not) and we strongly recommend that you will conduct this verification prior to communicating with any Counselor through the Platform and on a continuous basis as you use the Platform." 22. One last site While looking for some names to look up on CrunchBase, I realized they make it quite clear right there all the related sites/apps for BetterHelp, and I missed one. MyTherapist, which also removed the section above from their TOS as of 10/4. They sill forgot to fix the double relevant part though. LOL. ETA: 23. Fake Reviews for App Found this. According to this site, they rate BH's app reviews as being 70% fake and their adjusted rating being a one star. Honestly, I believe it considering all the fake comments I found on their YT channel's videos. I absolutely would not put it past them to fake reviews if they're paying for fake comments. 24. Authentic Mental Health, Real? And Suicide/Self-harm Connections My wife pointed this channel out to me. It's not very old, and every video is sponsored by BH and/or Keen (psychic service rival to Kasamba), which is somehow related to mental health? Their vlog channel seems to exist solely to make AMH look more real. It consists of less than twenty videos posted over about a month's worth of time, nearly every single video being under 4 minutes long. One video seems like it was uploaded to the wrong channel (the nicotine video). This user also has done several collabs with The Rewired Soul, on both their channels, even once hosting a video solo on The Rewired Soul's channel and vice-versa. Which is honestly a little weird since they're supposedly not even on the same continent (at least the solo videos seem to jus tbe filled from their own places). For the average YT person promoting this, I wouldn't think that, but with these channels that consistently, video after video, keep promoting BH, I honestly wonder what their real connection to this company is. Authentic Mental Health's website includes several "mental health quizzes" that contain more links to BH but with the "InfluenceLogic" part right at the beginning of the link. I'm merely speculating, but with the paid for fake comments and it appears fake reviews as well, I do wonder if they may have paid some actors as well. But that's just speculation. What can be drawn from this, however, is that all these BH promoters always seem to collab or talk about each other. Naturally, like The Rewired Soul and Kati's connected videos, AMH also did a video talking about Shane's series on Jake Paul. At this point, it's looking more and more like to me--there's some weird networking going on here and BH seemed to plan for Shane's sociopath/Jake Paul series to big one big ad for the company leading up to World Mental Health day. Shane has currently not put a link for the service in part 5, just as Kati Morton did not put a link to BH in her latest video (as of 10/8/18), but all her old links are still there. Also, I forgot to mention previously that Kati Morton hasn't just been promoting these people for a long time. She's been promoting them since September 23rd, 2013, less than a month after BH launched on August 30th, 2013. Going back to AMH's side vlog and it looking like it has a misplaced video, AMH's main channel is riddled with random pop culture/trendy videos as well that seem really out of place. Jake Paul comes up again. And Logan, of course, because of the suicide forest incident. AMH is not the only YTer to do a sponsorship with BH while discussing Logan Paul/the suicide forest incident, BTW. And the suicide/self-harm connection doesn't end there. Let's recall that BH cannot help anything more than those with mild depression/anxiety or stress. Why then do they keep insisting on doing these sponsorships with people discussing extremely severe situations? The following videos all have BH sponsorships: Reading My Suicide Note Coping with Suicidal Thoughts MORGAN INGRAM: MURDER OR SUICIDE? | MIDWEEK MYSTERY Bipolar Disorder: My Whole Story (Self-Harm, Suicide & Mental Hospitals) MY MENTAL HEALTH STORY (Better Help Online Therapy) | Depression & Suicide 4 MUST KNOW SUICIDE WARNING SIGNS (and how to help) 9 Year Old Gay Kid Commits Suicide How To Tell If Someone Is Suicidal (WARNING SIGNS) ASMR Roleplay: Comfort for a suicidal significant other How to Help Someone Who is Suicidal SUICIDE AND DEPRESSION AMONG UNIVERSITY STUDENTS Why Do People Commit Suicide? Anthony Bourdain And Depression (nothing like plugging a bullshit app that can't actually help people two days after a man's suicide) I tried to commit suicide THIS MUST END (Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade Suicide Death Reaction) Suicide.....Painless ????? Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain: Alcoholic Suicide with Dr Randazzo I Cut Myself And I Wish I Never Started The Truth About Jeffree Star (For context, Jeffree shows his cutting scars and discusses cutting) What are Self-Harm Behaviors? Kati Morton on Self-Injury, Cutting, Burning, Banging Head & therapy Self-Harm: Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Symptoms and Signs explaining my self harm relapse | storytime SELF HARM and SELF ESTEEM - HOW TO GET HELP ASMR Roleplay: Waking up [Comfort for Self-Harm/Cutting] [Trigger warning: Self-harming] Self harm and Coping Mental Health Awareness Month: My Borderline Story *TRIGGERING* Q&A | SELF-HARM, THERAPY, & BPD | TW BPD and Self Harm ft. Recovery Mum (Signs and Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder) Why are so many videos discussing self-harm/suicide sponsored by BH? They cannot help suicidal people at all, nor people who are self-harming. You will be immediately turned away. And honestly, if someone really were suicidal and desperate for help, one last rejection may be the final straw. This seems wildly irresponsible. These were not all of the videos on these kinds of topics related to BH. I just couldn't wade through any more of them. That's not even getting into how many videos seemed to be tied to this company and Cluster B personality disorders, Bipolar, and DID--none of which they would be able to offer any help for at all as these all require more treatment than anything an app could provide. I am really suspecting that there's a few different demographics they're collecting data on to sell to particular people. These "extreme" cases will go and complete the survey, get rejected (after they likely pay up or get their bank accounts charged during their "free" trial) and provide someone one set of data. The ASMR cluster seems to be another set of data wanted. And I would bet the actual counseling sessions can be used as well for a wide range of clients. I can't prove that, but I would bet if someone analyzed all the videos that got sponsored by BH, there's probably several distinct "groups" of topics. Anxiety/depression is obviously another group. These are probably part of the people who actually get the sessions. 25. Dependency Something I didn't think of before. This app specifically advertises itself as better than in person because you can communciate with your therapist 24/7, any time you want rather than 1-4 times a month and that you don't have to ever step outside your comfort zone by leaving the house. Both these points are completely the opposite of the purpose of therapy. The goal of therapy should be to decrease how often the patient needs to see the therapist, with the end goal, if possible, being that the patient is no longer in need of therapy or that contact is as minimal as necessary. The goal is to get as functional of a patient as possible, which should mean at some point, most patients wouldn't even need any visits, or would come in for check-in's. Likewise, you are supposed to be pushed out of your comfort zone by therapists. BH tells its clients both these things are bad. It wants you to see your therapist as often as possible, because they want to keep making money off of you. Of course any licensed professonal also wants to earn a living, but they are bound by ethics to do what's best for the health and well being of the patient. This constant connection also seems...a little inappropriate in general, and likely taxing for anyone on the other end. Where are the boundaries? It appears there are none. If you can't set basic boundaries of distance between the patient and the therapist, how can anything really productive come after that? I'm actually really disturbed by how many defenders of this obvious scam say it's great because they get to talk to their therapist several times a day. This is not healthy. If this site only allows those with mild symptoms, why is anyone using the site communicating with their therapist several times a week, much less a day? 26. Post Traumatic Victory & Missmangobutt/Stephanie Soo I'm linking this person as well, because they've had multiple BH sponsorships at this point. Along with that, they've done a collab with The Rewired Soul. Do you notice how the same names keep popping up again and again? Their channel started last year. Their channel was created June 8th, 2017. Their first sponsored video with BH is in this video, on Jun 26th, 2017. That's not even a month after starting the channel. And missmangobutt/Stephanie Soo. She has two channels, one being just for mukbangs. On missmangobutt, she's been promoting BH since June 4th of this year. On Stephanie Soo, it's May 18th of this year. One channel was created March 29, 2017. As far as I can tell, neither of her channels have anything to do with mental health, so I really don't know why she has them linked video after video. I keep finding accounts like this in general where an account that's around a year old or less at some point starts promoting/link-dropping this company with every single video after that point. EDIT: Fuck it, just have this. I also suggest watching Memology 101's series. I can't keep up with all this shit. Not the kind of place I'd normally link to, but they're archiving their shit and no one else has all this information in one place. Scam. 100% scamming. Possibly some kind of data mining going on here. Also, the parent company has been deleting shit off their site. There's just so much shit here, I don't even know what to say. I cam looking into this as it being a scam service, but this shit is like...crazy. I have to wonder how much data these people have snatched up. Looking into all this just makes me sick. I want to say one last thing. Since most of the people these ads target by who they're choosing to use to promote them, they seem to primarily be targeting American teens and college students. If you are currently a student, it is very likely you can afford mental health care even if you don't have insurance and the sliding scales in your area are still too high for you--most schools, especially universities typically offer free or heavily discounted mental health care. Please look into the resources available at your school before throwing money away at shady online services. I don't believe that most of the people who's promoted this shitty company actually had any bad intentions, but this should serve as a lesson that you should never promote anything without looking into it. This company being bullshit was easy to find, because the website itself tells you. All the people who promoted this company had to do was read the easily found TOS and privacy policy provided by the site itself. That is all it would have taken. Neither page is written in particularly complex legal terms either. It's actually kind of odd how plain the language on those pages are for something claiming to be for mental health. Reading all the information a company provides on their website should be the bare minimum anyone does before promoting a company offering them money, if they are trying to be ethical. I will say that in light of all this information coming out, those who continue to support this company, as far as I'm concerned, are making it quite clear they don't give a shit about people. Phil, The Rewired Soul, Kati, who are still pushing this shit as okay, these kinds of people are making it quite clear how they view their audience. I'm not getting into the stuff with Rogue Rocket. That's too business-y for me to wrap my head around. I am sad to see how many people are brushing this, with a thousand excuses that seem to boil down to "my YT hero says it's okay so I don't care". Sigh.