Addressing the needs of athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic, USA Triathlon will partner with Talkspace, an online therapy provider, to provide counseling services to U.S. National Team and Toyota U.S. Paratriathlon National Team athletes. Talkspace is an online and mobile service that the national governing body said would be convenient for elite athletes who typically travel extensively during the triathlon season.

The announcement also coincides with Mental Health Awareness Month in May. The new partnership is the first component of the NGB’s Transition 3 (T3), a program that provides elite athletes with educational, career and wellness support as they prepare for life after competition.

“USA Triathlon has been in conversations with Talkspace for several months as we have worked to create our elite athlete service program, Transition 3 — but as the COVID-19 pandemic began to change our daily lives in dramatic ways, we realized the need to fast-track this partnership,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “We prioritized making services available to our top elite-level athletes so we could support them during this challenging time. As multisport athletes, we take great care of our physical health — but mental health is equally important to overall well-being. We are pleased to offer a convenient, high-quality and cost-free way for U.S. National Team members and USA Triathlon staff to access support.”

After an initial assessment, clients are matched with a licensed, verified therapist customized to their needs. Athletes will work with the same therapist for each subsequent session, up to five times per week.

“Mental health isn’t separate from, but rather a part of, an athlete’s 360-degree wellbeing,” said Andrew Moers, chief marketing officer of Talkspace. “The multisport discipline of triathlon is an incredible undertaking, and through this partnership, we aim to prepare elite-level athletes and equip them with wellness support during a time they need it most.”

As part the agreement, USA Triathlon annual members will also receive exclusive discounts for the service.