24/7 online mental health support now available for students


Logo courtesy of TimelyCare/USI; Background photo by Charity Pflederer

USI Counseling and Psychological Services is partnering with TimelyCare to provide students free 24/7 access to mental health resources. TimelyCare is a tele-counseling platform.

Fallon Heady, Staff Writer

Counseling and Psychological Services is now offering tele-counseling and online mental health support through TimelyCare, a 24/7 virtual counseling platform. 

TimelyCare is a free service to all students. Students can sign up using their USI email address at timelycare.com/usi.   

With only three licensed psychologists on staff, CAPS has been experiencing heavy bookings and long wait times for students during Fall 2021. CAPS announced they were partnering with TimelyCare in an email sent to students on Nov. 22.  

Robin Sanabria, director of CAPS, said she is still working to hire more staff for CAPS, but it is a difficult time to hire mental health professionals. According to a study by the American Psychological Association, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a nationwide use of telehealth to provide mental health services.  

“We’re still in the early phases of rolling everything out,” Sanabria said. “But obviously, it also does not replace what we’re doing here.” 

Sanabria said TimelyCare will supplement the services CAPS provides to students.

Psychologists can only practice in states in which they are licensed. This means online students who do not live in Indiana do not have access to CAPS services. With TimelyCare, all students, including those online, have access to free health coaching, TalkNow and mental health counseling regardless of what state they are in.

TalkNow is a service that offers a 15 to 30 minute session to students at any time and any day of the week. TalkNow consultations do not have to be scheduled. 

“It’s not crisis intervention,” Sanabria said. “But it’s an opportunity for students to be able to talk with a mental health professional.”

Health coaching is also available on demand. Sanabria said those who utilize health coaching will work with certified coaches and nutritionists to improve lifestyle issues. This includes sleep schedule development, diet and exercise support and assistance in forming healthy daily routines. 

Students who are looking for regular therapy sessions have access to six scheduled appointments with a licensed psychologist through TimelyCare. Those who wish to stay with their provider after six virtual sessions have to pay a fee. Sanabria said students always have the option of attending counseling at CAPS.

Sanabria said the platform also provides individual therapy sessions with providers who are fluent in Spanish. 

“I think the most important thing is for folks to check it out.” Sanabria said. “We’re happy to talk with any student organizations about using them as a resource.” 

Francheyly Jimenez Campos, a freshman nursing major, said, “Some people, especially the younger generation, prefer to be at home for that kind of thing.”

“I think it will impact more students,” said Alaisha Reeves, a freshman film studies and communications double major. “It’s more effective that way.”

Read more about the services CAPS provides here.