Three universities in Virginia have partnered in an initiative to prioritize student mental health.
Virginia Tech, James Madison University, and Virginia Commonwealth University are partnering with TimelyMD, a virtual extension of existing campus counseling centers, to ensure students have all the mental health support they need to navigate college life.
“The emotional health of every student, whether they are on campus, with family, or in our larger community is integral to student success,” Virginia Tech President, Tim Sands, said. “Learning and social engagement occur around the clock in today’s higher education environment, and it’s important to support our students’ educational experience and well-being with accessible mental health coverage.”
At a time when student mental health concerns are growing across the country, the new system — which will go into effect during the fall 2022 semester — is anticipated to provide extra mental health screening and treatment services to students.
Students will soon have access to virtual tele-mental health services through a new university partnership. As a 24/7 virtual extension of campus counseling center resources, the service will provide greater access to licensed counselors at no cost. ⬇️https://t.co/wi65C5mrTO
— Virginia Tech (@virginia_tech) June 30, 2022
Prioritizing Mental Health
According to the press release, TimelyMD can be accessed via phone or any other device, and students will be able to choose free services from licensed counselors and mental health providers.
Students can access services including on-demand mental health assistance, appointment-based mental health counseling, psychiatric support, health coaching, care navigation for basic requirements, and digital self-care content.
Virginia Tech also mentioned that each student will be able to access 12 free planned counseling appointments throughout the year.
The initiative comes after an Inside Higher Ed article revealed that 14 percent of students felt their mental health worsened during the pandemic and remains poor.
To assist students in achieving a sense of well-being, leading better lifestyles, and improving their mental health, faculty and staff will also have access to support in directing students to TimelyMD resources.
“Putting the needs of students first means providing an exceptional educational experience with support for total student well-being,” President of Virginia Commonwealth University, Michael Rao, said. “This partnership provides a tool for students to access mental and emotional health services when it works best for their needs, improving their ability to succeed and thrive in their studies and in their lives inside and outside of school.”