UK partners with Talkspace to expand mental health efforts

LEXINGTON, Kentucky (August 29, 2022) — As a new semester begins at the University of Kentucky and we welcome our largest freshman class, Student Success works to increase student access to mental health services.

In a unique new partnership, the university joins forces with Discussion area, a confidential and secure online text and video chat therapy platform that provides access to mental health clinicians. With a network of thousands of credentialed clinicians, Talkspace is used by over a million people, connecting them with a credentialed therapist who best meets their needs.

“Over the past few years there has been growing concern about how we support the mental health of all of our students, and part of that is thinking about how we can create a range of service opportunities, with the idea that all students are comfortable accessing services in the same way,” said Corrine Williams, Acting Associate Vice President for Student Wellness. “TalkSpace, in particular, creates incredible access opportunities because of their range of services.”

How Talkspace works:

  • Answer a few simple questions to get started – it takes less than two minutes.
  • The Talkspace team will connect you with a vendor (usually within 48 hours).
  • Connect with your provider and start your mental health journey, including unlimited messaging and two phone or video sessions each month.

One in three freshmen worldwide experience a mental health issue, yet many students feel ill-equipped with the resources to manage them.

In the past year alone, three out of five American college students have experienced overwhelming anxiety. Yet only 10-15% of students, on average, have sought help from their counseling center. Barriers such as clinician availability, time commitment, and fear of asking for help prevent students from accessing behavioral health care during an important developmental phase of life.

Williams is very invested in dealing with this national mental health crisis. She sees Talkspace as a way to supplement the large number of resources that already exist in the UK and likens it to the analogy of Swiss cheese. Every resource has holes, Williams explained. To create something that nothing can fall through, she believes we need to layer resources so that every student has access to mental health support in a way that works for them.

With a deep commitment to ensuring that all students thrive, by expanding its range of services, the UK believes it is taking a step in the right direction.

“The UK is really trying to cultivate a help-seeking culture,” Williams said. “We all need help at different times, and I hope to normalize access to mental health services. TalkSpace offers both Live Sessions, which involve direct communication with a therapist, in addition to Inter-Session Communication which provides our students with many ways to engage and seek help.

All currently enrolled UK students have access to Talkspace, free of charge. To access the service and learn more about the resource, visit: www.Talkspace.com/uky.

For additional mental health services in the UK, students can use TRACS (Triage, Orientation, Assistance and Support in case of crisis)a physical and virtual one-stop shop where students can come for quick referrals to support services or receive direct clinical support for a range of mental health needs and crises.

Services are offered in person and virtually, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information on TRACS, visit go.uky.edu/tracs.

About Stephen Ewing

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