Over the past few months, we've been in talks with the amazing folks at Better Help with hopes that an amazing partnership could change people's lives for the better. Shortly after the horrific incidents and actions that resulted in the death of 13 American service members in Kabul, I started seeing some Gold Star Wives that I knew commenting on my and Zero Blog 30s posts when we would mention the fallen. Some of those folks said that the horrific loss in Afghanistan made their own personal pain feel brand new again. I reached out to one of the wives that I knew well and asked her about therapy options the Gold Star families had. To my surprise, the support was very limited or the families didn't know where to begin.
That's not ok. It's not right.
For the families that have sacrificed everything, therapy and learning some techniques on how to deal with intense grief is beyond important. Something needed to be done.
I spoke with a couple of members of Congress that I'm close with and they too were disappointed in the quality of care and treatment that these families receive. The issue for Congress is that getting anything accomplished is a nightmare in this political climate. Once again, it was up to the private sector.
After those calls, I recorded Zero Blog 30 a few days later and did an ad read for Better Help. I've been using Better Help as my therapy provider since Barstool offered free therapy to all employees. The sessions are covered under our HR department which is absolutely incredible and more businesses should do that. I thought about how much the quality therapy and ease of access meant to me and my wife who also uses the service. So, I placed some more calls and presented an idea that I was sure would be shot down. To my surprise, it wasn't. It was embraced by everyone at Barstool and Better Help was thrilled to have the chance to help people who deserve it so much. They were touched that they would get to help families. It was never about cost. It was never about money. Their response all along the way was simply "how can we do this and how can we do this the right way?" Shoutout to Nicole on our team. She did much of the legwork and crushed it.
Next thing you know, with a small verification step and landing page now in place, all immediate family members of Gold Star Families will be able to sign up with Better Help and get six full months of therapy at no cost. If more therapy is needed, they will extend that another six months, and on and on it goes.
When I told the rest of the ZBT squad about what was happening, I legit had to fight back tears. When I told the wife of one of my Marines who was killed in action, I lost that fight. I broke down big time. She was thrilled. I was gutted for her unimaginable loss but thankful that help would soon be available for the families who so desperately need it. When I had a meeting with the Better Help people, I cried again when they expressed just how pumped they were to be involved because I was so grateful that they were really going to do this.
I'm a big believer in therapy. Access to care shouldn't be as difficult as it is. Thankfully, Better Help has taken that burden off of so many families who are still hurting and will be hurting. Now, they'll have a chance to talk with someone who can expertly guide them through the process of grief. It's a gamechanger for so many.
If you find yourself struggling, I cant recommend Better Help enough. You can also get a discount on your care by using this link.
Better Help offers therapy sessions via an app. You can conduct video, phone, or even text sessions. You pick your therapist from a long list of providers and if you don't click, you can pick another one until you do find someone you gel with. It's how therapy should be.
Lastly, thank you to Better Help for doing this and being so on board from the very first call. I was blown away and I'm still beyond grateful that they stepped up to meet this need.
If you know any Gold Star Families, please forward this information to them. Share far and wide so all of the Gold Star Families can use this service. It can be life-changing and life-saving and I absolutely mean that.
Semper Fi and Viva