AUSTIN The University of Texas System Board of Regents is expanding its investment in student mental health services with the launch of a new program that will offer free, virtual mental health support to students at all 14 UT institutions beginning in the 2023 fall semester. The new program will be administered in partnership with Fort Worth-based TimelyCare, a premier provider of virtual health and well-being resources in higher education.
Students will have 24/7 access to a wide-ranging menu of virtual care options from licensed counselors and providers in all 50 states at no cost, including:
- On-demand mental health and emotional support
- Scheduled mental health counseling sessions
- Psychiatry services
- Health coaching
- Care navigation
- Peer support community
- Digital self-care content
“The health and safety of students is always our top priority,” UT Board of Regents Chair Kevin P. Eltife said in a news release. “We are committed to continuous enhancements that improve student health and educational success outcomes.”
This partnership is one component of a $16.5 million investment by the UT Board of Regents last year to expand and enhance student mental health and safety, as well as other alcohol and drug education resources at all UT academic and health institutions. In 2011, the UT System became the first system of higher education in the nation to invest in comprehensive alcohol prevention, education, and recovery programs at each of its academic campuses. This new initiative will be administered through UT Austin, which has led UT’s system-wide effort to support student wellness and safety.
“We know that students’ mental health is tied to their academic achievement and that the demand for access to mental health services for UT students has never been greater,” said UT System Chancellor James B. Milliken. “The Board of Regents has consistently and proactively addressed this need. We are proud that this latest investment will make mental health resources more readily available and easier to access for UT students.”
Numerous studies confirm that strong mental health is a key component of academic achievement. According to a recent report by Gallup and the Lumina Foundation, 69% of undergraduate students who considered dropping out cited emotional stress as their reason. Additionally, a report by the National Institute of Health (NIH) that analyzes several bodies of research concluded that mental health challenges significantly affect academic achievement and graduation rates in postsecondary education.
“As a Texas-based company with colleagues living across the state, TimelyCare is proud to serve the neighboring universities we call our alma maters, our hometown teams, and the institutions of higher education we trust to educate our own children. One in every 10 TimelyCare employees has earned a degree from a UT institution, so expanding equitable access to care across the state isn’t just business, it’s personal,” said Luke Hejl, TimelyCare CEO and co-founder. “We are proud to deliver best-in-class health and well-being solutions to help students thrive in all aspects of their lives.”