One Year of Telepsych: What I’ve Learned

It’s been one year since I started working at Iris Telehealth. In that time, I’ve learned a lot about telepsych, mental health, startups, marketing, and of course, Iris Telehealth. I thought one year of lessons might be worth sharing here on our blog. Here it goes.

Telemedicine is a really cool thing that not enough people know about or understand. In fact, I’d argue it’s not just super awesome, but also super necessary. A doctor’s visit without having to drive hours and hours for an appointment? Sign me up!

I’ve dealt with cranky editors and nit-picky professors, but this job helped me understand that failure is OK. It’s OK if I don’t get a task right the first time. Or the second time. Or the third or fourth or fifth time. As long as I am open to constructive criticism and willing to get better – however slow the pace may be – I’m good.

Mental health is really important and not enough people get the services they need. Myself included. At my college, the waiting list for an appointment with a counselor is typically at least three weeks. When my dad was rapidly dying of pancreatic cancer and I wanted to talk to someone, three weeks felt like an eternity. For people I know who struggle with severe depression or anxiety, I can’t even begin to comprehend what three weeks feels like for them. With no plug intended here, I genuinely believe telepsych could be the answer to this issue.


Working at a startup means sometimes you have to make it up as you go. And that can be incredibly fun and overwhelmingly frustrating sometimes, but man, the learning opportunities are killer.

Puppies will never go out of style. I suggested having puppies at our company’s booth for a conference last year, thinking my superiors would laugh and toss out the idea. But they loved it, went for it, and had the most successful booth there. On top of that, we partnered with the Humane Society and several of the puppies were adopted!

If you get engaged while working for Iris Telehealth, you will receive a box with dozens of ring pops in the mail. I recommend sharing them unless you have a stomach of steel.

Rural areas need telepsych. I live in Nebraska. I go to school with small town folks. I have traveled to the western parts of the state, walked through the cornfields and seen the centuries-old buttes. I have also seen the lack of healthcare, the need for mental health services, and the distance that needs to be traveled to get them. Let me say it again for the people in the back: Rural areas need telepsych. To me, it’s clearly the most reasonable solution.

And finally, sometimes the best jobs are the ones you never saw coming. I applied for this job – along with about 50 others – on a whim. I needed a summer internship and, quite frankly, I needed an income. I didn’t think I was qualified. If I got it, I thought it’d last a few months, at most. I didn’t think it would become something I love. But I got the job. I started one week after I applied. And I genuinely look forward to the work I do for this company every day.

Vanessa Daves is the Marketing Coordinator for Iris Telehealth.