On Nov. 14, the Wellness Center released TELUS Health, a mental health network app, which provides students with 24/7 online counseling support.
Chrissie Bailey, assistant director of Wellness Promotion, said the app offers free counseling in the form of video calls, voice calls or even text messaging.
UCCS students in Colorado can use the Wellness Center for counseling, virtually or in-person. A student’s first three therapy sessions at the Wellness Center are free, then it’s $20 a visit.
The Wellness Center’s mental health professionals have Colorado licenses, which prevents them from providing virtual Telehealth counseling to out-of-state students. Bailey said TELUS Health provides both in and out-of state students with a virtual option.
“I would encourage all students to go ahead and download the app, so you just have it on your phone if you need it,” Bailey said.
The app is owned by its Canadian parent company, TELUS Corporation. Bailey said the 24/7 availability of TELUS Health is important for mental health crises because it ensures students have a resource to call for help even if the Wellness Center is closed.
“When our wait list for therapy at the Wellness Center gets long, we can refer to TELUS Health to get students started,” Bailey said.
According to Bailey, TELUS Health may be replacing UCCS’ first online mental health resource, SilverCloud, despite its 94% satisfaction rate among users.
“We’re just getting started with TELUS, and they may have other options that may be similar to SilverCloud,” Bailey said. “We may not need both in the future.”
The Wellness Center will evaluate whether or not to keep SilverCloud in the next academic year.
SilverCloud is an app that was launched using COVID-19 government funds and it proved popular enough among students, faculty and staff to be relaunched once those funds ran out.
The app offers mental health modules for users to work through, which provide students with information on subjects including depression, anxiety, resilience, stress, insomnia, addiction recovery, parenting and COVID-19.
SilverCloud users can work through the modules on their own or with a coach. Coaches are trained employees who provide feedback and work through modules with the user.
Bailey emphasized that SilverCloud is not a replacement for therapy but a preventative measure against needing therapy or more intensive mental health care.
“One thing we’re definitely trying to work on is building those front end skills for students, so they don’t necessarily need therapy or so they don’t end up in a crisis and need emergency therapy,” Bailey said, “And SilverCloud provides some of those skill-building resources to help students on the front end before they need more intensive care.”
Bailey said the app detects when users report suicial intent and will reach out to them if intervention is needed. The app also provides a suicide hotline and information about the Wellness Center.
SilverCloud, TELUS Health and other UCCS mental health resources are funded by student fees. Recently, students voted to double fees for these services. The fee is currently $132.54 in the spring and fall semesters and $66.27 in the summer semester.
Information on how to sign up for SilverCloud can be found on the Wellness Center’s SilverCloud webpage. Students can download SilverCloud and TELUS Health through the app store and need to sign in using their UCCS credentials.
UCCS students and employees receive free mental health and wellbeing programs through Silvercloud by Amwell. Photo by Meghan Germain.