Written by Camille White // Graphic by Ben Evans
Harding University has partnered with TimelyCare to offer all full-time undergraduate and graduate students access to virtual mental health with licensed counselors, starting this semester. TimelyCare is free and confidential and has partnered with numerous universities across the country.
“We do not receive access to what is shared about, just like any other professional, private setting,” Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students Zach Neal said.
TimelyCare offers three key mental health resources: TalkNow, scheduled counseling and peer community. Additionally, self-care options are available, including online, on-demand yoga and meditation sessions.
The TalkNow service is available 24/7 with an unlimited number of calls.
“With TalkNow, you can talk to a counselor immediately,” Neal said. “At 2 a.m. or 2 p.m., it doesn’t matter.”
Additionally, TimelyCare gives students 12 full-length (45-50 minutes) scheduled counseling sessions per year, renewing each August.
The peer community allows students to anonymously converse and encourage one another. It is remotely monitored by one of TimelyCare’s licensed counselors.
“There’s the element that has to do with your peers,” Neal said. “There’s the element that has to do with you and this licensed medical professional. Then there’s also the element that has to do with you independently in your own growth.”
Angela Bailey, a licensed associate counselor from the University’s counseling center, said one of the limitations their office experiences is that they are only licensed to counsel students who are in Arkansas. Thus, if students go home for breaks and wish to continue counseling, they cannot continue with the center at Harding. However, TimelyCare has licensed counselors for all states, so a student still can receive their mental health services through them.
“It can help a student no matter where they are in the United States,” Bailey said.
Student Government President and senior Ella Duryea said she is grateful students who need immediate attention from a counselor can access that with TimelyCare.
“Getting help – whatever that looks like for you – there is never any shame associated with that,” Duryea said. “Just don’t be afraid to reach out for help. That’s one of the bravest things anyone can do.”