As part of the University of Notre Dame’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all enrolled students now have free and immediate access to medical and mental health visits through TimelyMD, a telehealth company that specializes in higher education.
The new program, called Fighting Irish Care, offers students an additional resource for campus health, with medical care, mental health counseling and health coaching programs specifically designed for college students. The program gives students 24/7 access to free medical and/or one-time mental health counseling visits from licensed physicians and counselors, anytime and from anywhere in the United States.
“Fighting Irish Care is another addition to our growing list of student support services and a natural extension of the telehealth services currently offered by University Health Services and the University Counseling Center,” said Christine Caron Gebhardt, assistant vice president for health and wellness. “I’m thrilled students now have immediate access to health care and mental health support regardless of their needs or physical location to campus.”
For students, seeking care is as easy as making a video call. From an app on their phone or other device, students can see the profiles, faces and basic details of a diverse range of medical providers or mental health counselors available to them. They can choose to meet with a specific provider or select the first available. Typically, students have a video consultation with someone within 5-10 minutes.
TimelyMD enhances campus resources by helping to limit the spread of illness, remove the stigma of mental health counseling and grant peace of mind to students and their families. While 75 percent of college students in a recent survey said their mental health has worsened since the pandemic began, fewer than 30 percent have tried teletherapy as a coping strategy. Fighting Irish Care is one more strategy Notre Dame offers to break down barriers and increase access for students in need.
“Virtual access to medical and mental health counseling has never been more important, especially for college students who may be learning remotely, need care after hours and prefer to do so privately on their own devices,” said Luke Hejl, chief executive officer of TimelyMD. “Continuing classes on campus means anticipating and addressing the concerns, needs and demands of students and their families.”