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Venus Williams partners with WTA and BetterHelp to provide free therapy
"Now more than ever, we need to create an accepting and open environment to reach out for help," she wrote on Instagram.
Published Aug 29, 2021
Venus Williams is once again vying for change, but this time it's beyond court lines. Partnering with BetterHelp and the WTA, she's asking the world to show up for themselves both on and off the court by prioritizing their mental health. For many, therapy can seem intimidating or unnecessary but Venus is attempting to change that narrative. The seven-time major champion's goal is to let people know there is a welcoming and safe place for them to reach out for help.
Venus along with the WTA and BetterHelp, an online therapy platform that gives customers access to licensed therapists is providing access to $2M in free therapy.
"Show up for yourself, on and off the court, the challenge of taking care of our mental health through the ups and downs of life is something that all of us can relate to," Venus wrote on Instagram. "Now more than ever, we need to create an accepting and open environment to reach out for help."
Those that sign up will receive one free month of therapy through the online counseling program. The first $1 million is now available, and the rest will be given throughout the remainder of the 2021 WTA season, with $500 being donated for each ace hit.
BetterHelp is currently the world's largest therapy platform and it aims to provide accessible, affordable and convenient therapy to anyone that is struggling anytime and anywhere. The online service will match people with licensed, trained and accredited psychologists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, and board licensed professional counselors.
This news is coming at a time where mental health is at the forefront due to Naomi Osaka's withdrawal earlier this season from Roland Garros due to her struggles. The world No. 3 also withdrew from Wimbledon and limited her social media activity for months to focus on her mental health and take "personal time" away from the sport.
With the conversation surrounding mental health and self care growing, there will be an even larger focus on it at this year's US Open. The USTA is providing players access to licensed mental health providers, "quiet rooms" and more support services than ever before during the two-week long major event.
Venus along with little sister Serena Williams will not be competing at the last Grand Slam of the season. The sisters are both suffering from leg injuries and hope to make a return to the courts soon.
The US Open begins August 30.