In this issue

Psychology in the news

A mobile app that offers unlimited messaging therapy, a national initiative aimed at reducing the number of people with mental illness in jails and a lawsuit addressing the lack of mental health treatment for criminals.

By Shaybe Aquino, MA, and Emily Edwards

To make therapy affordable and accessible, TalkSpace, a mobile application, which offers unlimited messaging therapy for $12 a week to speak to a licensed therapist, was developed Though Talkspace indicates on its site that the service is not meant to replace offline talk therapy, it opens a door for people to seek help for mental health in an innovative way. Lyster, L. (2015, May 29). Disrupting psychology: Text a shrink for $25/week. Does it work?

With rising public outcry about police brutality, prison overcrowding and mental health issues, criminal justice and mental health reform have been hot button issues for many presidential hopefuls. Over past months, federal legislators, mental health advocates and public safety officials have begun having the difficult discussion of how to address these growing public concerns. A recently launched national initiative Stepping Up aimed at reducing the number of people with mental illness in jails appears to have resulted largely from such political movement.

A landmark lawsuit against America's toughest supermax federal prison has shed light onto the lack of mental health treatment for some of America's most notorious criminals, including 9/11 conspirators, crime bosses and serial killers. Though the suit is recognized by experts as a long shot, the implications of such an investigation remain unclear. Binelli, M. (2015). Inside America's toughest federal prison.