Travis Scott is facing criticism on social media after announcing that he has partnered with online counselling service BetterHelp to provide free therapy for people who attended his Astroworld festival.
In a statement shared with ABC News on 8 November, Scott announced that he would cover the funeral costs of those who had lost their lives in the tragedy and provide “further aid” for others who had been affected.
“These are the first of many steps Travis plans on taking as a part of his personal vow to assist those affected throughout their grieving and recovery process,” the statement said.
“As part of the emotional support efforts, BetterHelp, in conjunction with Travis, will be offering free one-on-one sessions with a licensed therapist for those who sign up
“Travis is grateful to be working alongside BetterHelp, a renowned mental health service provider and to be able to quickly provide this fundamental care and support. Further relief efforts to be announced in the coming days and weeks.”
On its website, BetterHelp said Scott’s record label, Cactus Jack, is covering the costs of one month of therapy for all those who attended the festival.
The move has been criticised by social media users, with many arguing that one month of therapy is “not adequate” to deal with the trauma of what people had endured.
“This seems like a good start, but the trauma that I’m assuming some of these people went through isn’t going to be fixed in a few online therapy sessions,” one person wrote on Twitter.
“I feel a little traumatised myself by some of the videos I’ve seen, I can’t imagine the hurt some are dealing with.”
Another said: “BetterHelp isn’t sufficient enough. Is he going to pay the long-term costs associated with trauma related mental illness?
“PTSD, anxiety, and depression aren’t simply remedied with a ‘let’s talk about our feelings’ session.”
An Astroworld attendee, Seanna Faith McCarty, has shared a detail account of the trauma she experienced during the crowd surge on Instagram.
“I saw terror in every eye that I met, even the ones that told me to breathe and stay calm. We knew there was a very big chance that some of us would not make it out alive,” she said.
One Twitter user, who has previously had a negative experience on BetterHelp, said Scott’s offer was “sickening”.
They shared a screenshot of a conversation with a BetterHelp therapist, in which she tells the therapist that she had felt suicidal. The therapist responds by saying “oh”.
“I have posted this before but it’s absolutely sickening that Travis Scott is offering a free month of BetterHelp to people likely suffering from PTSD,” they said.
“This is the quality of care you get on @betterhelp from therapists who are underpaid and overburdened with absurd caseloads.”
In response, BetterHelp said: “This is totally unacceptable and we’re very sorry you haven’t had a good experience.
“We’ve sent you a direct message so that we can help make this right and investigate this therapist.”
Another user, named Edward Oswald, said they had a positive experience with BetterHelp. “I mean to each their own, but the therapist I found there was by far the best I’ve ever had,” Oswald said.
The Independent has contacted BetterHelp and Scott’s representatives for comment.
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