USF launches new app to increase access to mental health services

The University of South Florida launched a new app this semester that allows students to have immediate access to counselors and other mental health resources.

Through TimelyCare, students have access to TalkNow: 24/7, on-demand emotional support as well as scheduled counseling and health coaching.

"I think just increasing that access and accessibility and being able to kind of meet students where they are is certainly an enhancement to what we've been able to provide up to now," Scott Strader, director of the Counseling Center on the Tampa campus said.

In a release, the university said utilization has risen by roughly 10% each year since the beginning of the pandemic when students shifted to remote learning. It’s a way to supplement in-person services as more people became comfortable with virtual platforms during the pandemic.

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"As we become more comfortable with these new modes of treatment and ways that students can access care, I think it's only going to work to reduce stigma," Strader said.

Students back on campus full-time support the increased access to mental healthcare through multiple platforms.

"Oh, I think it's a great idea. Honestly, I'd say one of the biggest barriers for me when I was coming in, before everything had moved online, was gaining access to a counselor," USF student Alexander Chwalik said.

TimelyCare doesn’t require insurance and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year from anywhere. The app is available in the Apple and Google Play app stores.