TimelyCare: Three-Quarters of College Students Report Mental Health Boost After Virtual Treatments
(FORT WORTH, Texas) – Three-quarters (75%) of college students who accessed virtual mental health and well-being interventions reported mental health improvement—including 100% of students who presented as a potential suicide risk—according to anonymized outcomes data reported by TimelyMD, the leading health and well-being provider in higher education.
These encouraging results come as other research reported in October from the American Psychological Association (APA) shows that more than 60% of college students met the criteria for at least one mental health problem and 73% of students reported moderate or severe psychological distress.
Similarly, TimelyMD survey results from August 2022 show that 69% of college students report experiencing mental health issues such as stress, anxiety or depression. The overwhelming majority (86%) say their current level of stress and/or anxiety is the same as or greater than at the beginning of the school year in 2021, when the COVID-19 pandemic was reported as one of the top contributors to those feelings.
As the APA points out, college student demand for mental and behavioral healthcare was growing before the pandemic, which has subsequently compounded an unprecedented shortage of available in-person mental health professionals to counsel students.
Fortunately, the positive results reported by TimelyMD after nearly five years of delivering virtual mental health and well-being services to students show that telehealth interventions are greatly needed and accessed. For example:
- Students have accessed mental health and well-being services through the company’s TimelyCare platform more than 325,000 times this semester (August-October), with utilization on track to pass the 500,000 mark by the end of the fall semester.
- 80% of visits year-to-date have been for mental health, compared to 10% pre-pandemic.
- 60% of students who sought virtual mental health support reported they would have done nothing if the service were not available.
- 40% of mental health visits occur after hours and on weekends, indicating a need for around-the-clock accessibility.
“TimelyMD began offering virtual mental health and medical care in 2018, and it is clear that our student-centered focus on 24/7 unlimited on-demand emotional support, a diverse provider network, and immediate access to care are needed now more than ever,” said Luke Hejl, CEO and co-founder of TimelyMD. “The number one reason students leave college is for mental health reasons. It’s rewarding to have a positive impact on campuses for students who, perhaps for the first time ever, have easy access to mental health support—and they are discovering how it can improve their outlook, relationships, self-esteem and lives overall.”
Inclusive Care Essential to Mission
Now serving more than 1.5 million college students across the U.S., TimelyMD’s growth has been propelled not only by an increased demand for virtual mental healthcare, but also the quality of care provided—including a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion. That is true not only of the students with improved access to care, but also the professionals providing that care. More than half (54%) of TimelyMD mental health providers identify as Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC)—just one of many dimensions of its diverse provider network, which also includes professionals who identify as LGBTQIA+, speak multiple languages, and/or have various religious and spiritual beliefs.
Addressing the mental health needs of all types of college students is crucial considering that LGBTQIA+ students with access to mental health services through college had 84% lower odds of attempting suicide in the past year compared to those without access, according to research published this year from The Trevor Project. However, the organization also found that 33% of LGBTQIA+ college students reported that they did not feel comfortable going to in-person services, while other access barriers included long waitlists, (29%), and privacy concerns (17%).
“Offering mental healthcare services and truly making them accessible and engaging are not the same thing, which is why TimelyMD is an on-demand digital platform with a diverse, culturally competent provider network,” said Bob Booth, MD, Chief Care Officer at TimelyMD. “We have entered a new era of mental healthcare delivery that is technology-enabled and focused on the needs and expectations of patients. TimelyMD’s growth trajectory and adoption by nearly 250 colleges reflect this evolution. In the coming years, we will strengthen our leadership position by continuing to deliver the care and support that achieves students’ health and well-being goals now and throughout the rest of their lives.”
TimelyMD is the leading virtual health and well-being solution for higher education. Its mission is to improve the well-being of college students by making virtual medical and mental health care accessible anytime, anywhere. TimelyMD’s virtual care platform, TimelyCare, includes a range of services, including mental health counseling, on-demand emotional support, medical care, psychiatric care, health coaching, basic needs assistance, faculty and staff guidance, and digital self-care content. Visit timelycare.com to learn how TimelyMD is inspiring the digital transformation of campus health and the future of student care.