In response to a pandemic that widely changed how and why we travel, myriad hotels have rolled out attractive new amenities in the past two years to make patrons feel better about spending the night. At Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, that new amenity is free therapy appointments.
On February 23, the boutique hotel chain announced a new partnership with Talkspace, an online mental health company, to provide mental health services to guests and employees. This comes at a fortuitous time.
According to a survey by the American Psychological Assocation, “More than 8 in 10 (84 percent) of psychologists who treat anxiety disorders said they have seen an increase in demand for anxiety treatment since the start of the pandemic, compared with 74 percent a year ago. Demand for treatment of depression is also up, with 72 percent of psychologists who treat depressive disorders saying they have seen an increase, compared with 60 percent in 2020.”
“I’ve never been busier,” Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a neuropsychologist and professor of psychology at Columbia University in New York, told AFAR. “This pandemic has really upped the ante on mental health issues. The CDC says that one out of every four Americans is clinically depressed. That’s massive.”
The partnership, called KimptonxTalkspace, will offer up to 1,000 free video sessions with licensed therapists to guests staying at the 60-plus participating Kimpton hotels. The sessions can be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org with proof of hotel stay.
Once those have been booked—and they’re likely to go quickly—Kimpton will offer travelers a $100 discount code for Talkspace in prearrival emails through the end of the year.
Kathleen Reidenbach, Kimpton’s chief commercial officer, told AFAR that the added amenity is also meant to provide guests with more comfort and confidence as they hit the road.
In addition to the sessions available to guests, all Kimpton staff (more than 4,000 employees) now have unlimited access to Talkspace sessions through the end of the year. Reidenbach said that the sessions are intended to recognize the pandemic’s impact on them as front-line workers.
“They’ve been pushed to their limits, navigating everything from worker shortages to the burden of upholding safety protocols,” Reidenbach said. “This is an opportunity for us to demonstrate to our employees that we care about them and that we recognize that they’ve worked really hard, oftentimes under difficult circumstances.”
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Bailey Berg Bailey Berg is the associate travel news editor at AFAR, where she covers breaking news, trends, tips, sustainability, the outdoors, and more. When not interviewing sources or writing articles, she can be found exploring art galleries, visiting craft breweries, hiking with her dogs, and planning her next adventure (at present, she’s been to 75+ countries and hopes to spend time in every one someday).