Adverts for LGBT mental health service ‘crass and exploitative’

LGBT+ Pride flags flutter in the breeze from a building

Social media users who were targeted by ads for an online LGBT counselling service have criticised them as “crass” and “exploitative”.

Pride Counseling, a subsidiary of online therapy site, Better Help, offers private counselling with licensed therapists for LGBT people suffering from mental health problems.

The California-based service predominately advertises itself on Facebook and Instagram.

It offers unlimited online therapy via messenger and video calls for a subscription fee of $35-$70 (£25-£50) a week.

(Pride Counseling / Facebook)

However, several targeted by the ads have taken issue with the company’s marketing, which they have called offensive, misleading or invasive. Others have labelled them as “exploitative” and “scam-ish”.

Adverts promoted on behalf of the business include images of a rainbow covered young man crying, and videos of tearful LGBT people embracing their future happy selves.

One social media user, who wrote online about their dissatisfaction with the company’s ads, said that Pride Counseling had good intentions, but that the “marketing feels really crass”.

Alma, who did not give her second name, told PinkNews that the marketing “really rubbed me the wrong way”, because “a lot of LGBTQ people [are] cut off their families for safety and can’t exactly pay upwards of £30 a week for a service like this”.

She added: “I think what makes me the most uncomfortable is that it’s almost capitalising off of [sic] the fact they know mental health services are difficult to access, especially in the UK”.

(Pride Counseling / Facebook)

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