Seeking counselling to discuss personal issues is never an easy step to take.
Firstly, it takes a lot of bravery and courage to find someone who you trust to confide in. And then there is the common struggle to afford therapy, as it is rarely cheap.
For most young people these days, communicating via smartphones or social media isn't a problem. So why should talking about personal stuff be so difficult?
What if we told you that in a recent survey of more than 500 people, 81 per cent admitted that they would rather have an electric shock than discuss their anxieties with their friends?
That doesn't sound great, does it? What if there was a way of combining the two, so you could feel safe in the comfort of your own device while talking to a trained counsellor?
Well, a new app called Spill will allow users to consult a personal counsellor at the touch of a button without booking an appointment.
For £9.99 a month the app will put you in touch with one of the 50 counsellors that best meet your needs and then you can chat with them whenever you feel like you need the help.
The company was founded just last year by Gavin Dhesi, Dr Annemarie O'Connor and Calvin Benton (pictured below) and all of their counsellors are BACP-qualified with at least three years experience.
In a statement, Spill said:
We started Spill after asking ourselves a question:
Why is no organisation getting people to talk to someone now - before they need to talk to someone?
From there they began developing the app with companies like Monzo, Rightmove and Time Out, along with smaller tech companies to create a messaging system that was initially distributed to companies.
Soon the app became more and more popular with the employees at said companies and they began recommending it to their friends and family.
Noticing that there was an uptake in users, Spill then began developing a direct-to-consumer product earlier this year that has already seen an overwhelming number of people sign up to use it.
Spill report that at least 500 people are already receiving support through the app, while another 1000 are currently on their waiting list.
Furthermore, the majority of the people who are using the app have apparently never sought any sought of mental health consultation in the past.
Two stats we're really proud of are that 80 per cent of people who use the app through their employer have never accessed any kind of mental health support before, and that we are currently seeing 20 per cent usage rates among employees - far higher than traditional usage rates for EAPs (Employee Assistance Programs) which are usually in the low single digits.
Spill isn't just being used for discussions about anxiety or depression either.
Counsellors have found that they have been asked about relationship problem or work-related stress, which proves how open and easy to use the app is.
Also, there is no commitment to Spill either. You don't have to oblige to a minimum number of sessions a month and you can cancel at any moment.
The market for digital counselling is still relatively small, especially in the UK, but research from IKEA of 12,000 people across 12 major cities found that 68 per cent of people preferred talking to each other via messaging services rather than face-to-face.
If we are therefore living in an era where digital communication is a more acceptable way to reach out to somebody then why shouldn't counselling be the same?
You can sign up to Spill now to get early access and also a one-month free trial.