Student health uses some counseling services – Daily Trojan
Officials announced November 3 that USC students can now access UWill, a virtual program that will provide quick access to mental health professionals.
“This is a good option for you if you wish to contact a mental health professional within a very short period of time,” the USC Student Health Counseling and Mental Health Services team wrote in an email statement about the service. “Usually, after confirming eligibility, you can log in and choose an appointment within 24-48 hours.”
UWill launched October 17 to ensure students get the help they need during “high tide season” — a time of year when treatment appointments are most difficult to get, said Broderick Leaks, director of counseling and mental health at USC Student Health.
“It really helps us when we get to the middle of the semester — where we start to reach saturation point — to be able to partner with a company like UWill that can increase access and provide immediate care to our students who are looking for services,” the leaks said.
Danielle Gutt, assistant director of Outreach and Prevention Services at Student Health, said UWill may be useful for students who are curious about treatment, feel more comfortable receiving help from professionals outside of USC or who may not have access to immediate care.
“The beauty of these services is that they are 100 percent accessible on your phone remotely, and you can use them when you’re not on campus,” Gott said. “For those students who are considering enrolling in mental health support or therapeutic services, and say they are about to travel abroad, I would recommend reaching out to UWill as a source of support.”
To use the service, students first need to access their MySHR portal, where they can make an appointment and select a ‘Counseling and Mental Health’ category. After that, they can choose the “UWill” tab and submit their request.
More than half of UWill’s providers identify as black, Indigenous, and people of color, and about a quarter identify as LGBTQIA, Lakes said.
UWill is the first of many products that USC health officials plan to make available to students through the Therapy + suite — a suite of apps and services coordinated to meet a wide range of students’ mental health needs. They also plan to add services such as the Oasis app, a service that will provide psychological education through self-paced modules and allow students to send messages directly to trained mental health professionals.
“USC has undergone a very massive expansion in mental health care and services,… so are we [now] One of the largest, if not the largest, university counseling center in the country.
Gutt added that Therapy+ aims to provide “those services that students may need to truly engage in wellness and wellbeing but do not quite rise to the level of ‘I need to attend for individual accommodation’ or ‘I need to see a psychiatrist’.” “
These new programs will be rolled out in phases during the remainder of the academic year, said Rachel Lichtman, associate director of public communications at USC for Student Health. As for next steps, Leaks said the goal is to try and inform the student body of these new services to provide as much access to the care they need.
“COVID has really opened up the world to more telehealth,” said Lakes. “Just being able to access a therapist — whether it’s a USC therapist in counseling and mental health services or a UWill therapist — being able to get to them from home or at a convenient location for you versus having to travel to a counseling center or travel to a location that I think might Really opening doors and a lot of access for our students.”
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