UChicago expands access to free virtual counseling for students

Telehealth company TimelyCare adds to suite of in-person, virtual support on campus

Teletherapy has allowed mental health providers to better connect with and support patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, including students seeking access to virtual counseling at home.

Earlier this year, UChicago Student Wellness explored additional options to meet an increase in demand for virtual counseling on campus. The University announced in March that eligible UChicago students now have access to free virtual services through TimelyCare, a leading telehealth company specializing in serving students.

“The University is committed to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of UChicago students,” said Michele Rasmussen, dean of students in the University. “We’re excited to provide students access to TImelyCare, which has established a footprint on 140 college and university campuses and is able to bring an extensive range of services to complement what we offer at Student Wellness.”

UChicago Student Wellness offers a full suite of in-person and virtual services, including individual and group psychotherapy, psychiatric evaluation and treatment, and 24/7 on-call therapists.

“Students can start counseling anywhere,” said Meeta Kumar, director of student counseling at UChicago. “If a student starts with TimelyCare, but the counselor feels that Student Wellness is better suited to care for their needs, TimelyCare can refer the student to Student Wellness. Our services are very connected.”

Students can access scheduled counseling sessions, 24/7 on-demand services and psychiatric care (for students with referrals) after downloading the TimelyCare app and registering with their UChicago email address. Therapists are typically available to speak with students via phone or video in under 10 minutes.

“I hope students take advantage of TimelyCare services,” said Ph.D. student Nikita Mehta, co-president of the Graduate Council at UChicago, who advocated for expanded access to mental health care. “They can see different therapists and see what works best for them in a non-binding setting. Plus, students have an option for going to therapy without having to go to an office or talk to someone on the phone to make an appointment, if that’s something that gives them anxiety.”

For more information on using TimelyCare, visit the UChicago Student Wellness website.