Offering telehealth services can help colleges and universities meet an ever-growing student population in need of mental health services

4 resources for campus telehealth

Offering telehealth services can help colleges and universities meet an ever-growing student population in need of mental health services

“Having spent the last ten-plus years working in college mental health, I’ve seen firsthand the struggle to staff psychiatric providers–with the nation’s shortage of providers, most counseling centers lack the space or resources to hire their way out of this. Recruiting specialists, especially those from diverse backgrounds, are particularly difficult to find in rural areas. Given what we know about students of color and LGBTQ+ students being more likely to meet with providers who have similar identities, it’s crucial that we find better solutions,” Dr. Nora Feldpausch, Mantra Health’s medical director, notes in the ebook’s intro.

Across the U.S., campus leaders recognize that access to mental health services, including telehealth services, is essential.

Baylor University’s Counseling Center and Health Services has offered telehealth services to those on Waco’s campus throughout the pandemic, according to an update on campus services. Now, those features will be available for all Baylor students regardless of location.

“We recognize students really value face-to-face appointments, but it’s difficult to schedule with their busy schedules,” said Dr. Jim Marsh, dean for student health and wellness, in an announcement on the university’s website. “These updated offerings will extend our reach in availability and geography, making sure all students feel supported.”

Here are some resources and promising practices to help your campus make telepsychiatry an integral part of campus mental health services:

1. Mantra Health: High-quality psychiatric care can make or break the college experience, especially for students with higher-acuity psychiatric needs. The pressure to maintain mental wellness can be even higher for students who come from low-income backgrounds or hold financial responsibility for their family. A student’s mental wellness can have a ripple effect, impacting multiple lives when one student accesses quality psychiatric care. Offering psychiatric resources on campus via telehealth removes the barriers introduced when seeking community care. (Check out Mantra Health’s new telepsychiatry ebook here.)

2. TimelyMD is a student-first telehealth provider offering a complete care solution for campus health. Students gain access to a team of board-certified or board-eligible clinicians for medical support, as well as licensed counselors and behavioral health specialists for mental health support. These high-quality, student-focused providers can be available anytime, anywhere.

TimelyMD works closely with campus marketing teams to develop digital and physical assets that promote a telehealth program. Its Student Ambassador Program helps build organic brand awareness through coordinated, student-led marketing efforts.

3. Carthage College recently announced an initiative to give students easier access to mental health services through a new program that provides virtual teletherapy for students through an online platform called Uwill, giving all Carthage students access to on-demand counseling with licensed professionals through chat, video, phone, or text message.

“We were excited to launch this teletherapy initiative,” said Carthage President John Swallow. “We got going with it late in 2020 with the support of some donors and trustees who were interested in our addressing more mental health needs on campus. We received some donations to get started and currently have an 18-month pilot underway. We are excited that more students are being able to access services.”

Designed to empower students by enabling them to evaluate and select mental health professionals of their choosing, Uwill is a secure teletherapy platform that offers a full suite of communication modalities. The company is backed by Run-DMC founder and mental health advocate Darryl McDaniels, as well as education pioneers including Bright Horizons CEO Stephen Kramer and Princeton Review founder John Katzman.

4. BetterMynd gives students access to virtual counseling from the privacy and convenience of their laptops and smartphones, with sessions available during days, nights, and weekends. Upon registration, students are able to select a BetterMynd counselor that’s right for them by identifying the issues they’re dealing with, their preferences for a counselor, and their availability.

Laura Ascione