Type: Public event

Bringing the gig economy to healthcare: What telehealth means for mental health therapists


Casey Pierce

Date & time

Mar 10, 2022, 12:00-1:00 pm EST


This is a Virtual Event.

Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experience a mental health condition. However, reports predict by 2025 the demand for mental health services will outpace the supply of mental health professionals which will leave millions without care. Telemental health, that is, using communication technology to provide mental healthcare at a distance, can help deliver care to those in need. Although research suggests promising outcomes for patients using telemental health, we know little about how telehealth affects the work practices of the therapists who deliver care.

In this presentation, Professor Pierce will discuss how direct-to-consumer telemental health platforms create “gig” work arrangements for therapists working as independent contractors rather than full-time employees. Specifically, Pierce will report on findings from interviews with therapists describing their experiences working on telemental health platforms. Professor Pierce will explain how online therapists reconcile discrepancies between their identities as care providers, telehealth policies and what different platforms afford them the ability to do. Finally, Pierce will conclude by addressing both the opportunities and ethical implications in using digital platforms to scale mental health care.

Please register for this event.

From the speaker's bio

Dr. Casey Pierce is an assistant professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on how technology influences knowledge sharing and work practices across geographic and occupational boundaries. In this line of research, she has examined social media use in organizations, technology implementation during a federal policy change, and offshoring work arrangements. Currently, she is studying how telehealth impacts clinicians’ work practices and healthcare policies. Her work has received awards from the International Communication Association and Academy of Management. Casey earned her PhD from the Media, Technology, and Society program at Northwestern University School of Communication. She also received her BA and MA from the University of Southern California.