WashU introduces telehealth services for students

In an effort to further support student mental health, Washington University in St. Louis is introducing TimelyCare, a service of TimelyMD, a leading telehealth company specializing in higher education.

Starting next month, TimelyMD licensed physicians and counselors will be available 24/7 to provide a range of services, including:

● On-demand medical care

● Appointment-based medical care

● On-demand mental health support

● Appointment-based mental health counseling

● Psychiatric support

● Health coaching

TimelyCare will be free for all students who pay the student health and wellness fee and will be available via the TimelyCare app. The launch date will be announced soon.

Kirk Dougher, associate vice chancellor for student support and wellness, said TimelyCare will augment Habif Health and Wellness Center’s existing spectrum of medical and mental health services and will serve as a backstop during times, such as finals, when a greater number of students are seeking help. Habif also is planning to hire additional therapists and to expand programs such as group therapy.

“Our students will have more options, more of the time,” Dougher said. “Habif will remain our primary service care provider, but our hope is that students use TimelyCare when they cannot access Habif, whether they need to talk to a therapist right away about anxiety or are experiencing a sore throat on a Sunday night.”

Junior Nicole Leers, chair of the Student Union Health and Wellness Committee, played a key role in bringing TimelyCare to campus. Her committee has advocated for additional mental health resources and researched a number of telehealth operations before recommending TimelyMD to the Office of Student Affairs.

“I’m really glad to see the university is prioritizing student mental health,” Leers said. “There has always been a need for more counseling, an issue that COVID only exacerbated. I think telehealth is going to be an effective way to reach students who can’t make it to Habif during their regular hours or can’t wait for an appointment.”

TimelyMD providers will communicate with Habif staff daily to guarantee continuity of care. Dougher said the university also will track wait times, student satisfaction and health outcomes to guarantee students have the best experience possible.

Founded in 2017, TimelyMD serves more than 500,000 students at 130 universities, including peer schools Emory University, University of Virginia and Johns Hopkins University.

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