USC students now have access to UWill, a virtual program that will provide quick access to mental health professionals, officials announced Nov. 3.
“This is a great option for you if you want to connect with a mental health professional within a very quick turnaround time,” the USC Student Health Counseling and Mental Health Services team wrote in an emailed statement about the service. “Usually, after eligibility is confirmed, you can log in and select an appointment that takes place within 24-48 hours.”
The UWill service launched Oct. 17 to ensure students get the help they need during “peak season” — a time of year when therapy appointments are harder to come by, said Broderick Leaks, director of counseling and mental health at USC Student Health said. .
“It really helps us when we get to the middle of the semester — where we start to hit our saturation point — to partner with a company like UWill that can increase access and provide immediate care to our students seeking services,” Leaks said.
Danielle Gautt, the assistant director for outreach and prevention services at Student Health, said UWill can be helpful for students who are curious about therapy, feel more comfortable receiving help from professionals outside of USC or who otherwise don’t have access to immediate care. do not have.
“The beauty of those services is that they’re 100% remotely accessible on your phone, and you can use them when you’re not on campus,” Gautt said. “For those students who are considering entering mental health support or therapeutic services, and let’s say they are about to go overseas, I would recommend accessing UWill as a source of support.”
To use the service, students must first access their MySHR portal, where they can schedule an appointment and select the “Counseling and Mental Health” category. Then they can select the “UWill” tab and submit their request.
More than half of UWill’s providers identify as Black and Indigenous people and people of color, and about a quarter identify as LGBTQIA, Leaks said.
UWill is the first of many products USC Health officials plan to provide to students through their Therapy+ suite — a collection of apps and services curated to meet the wide variety of student mental health needs. They also plan to add services such as the Oasis app, a service that will provide psychoeducation through self-paced modules and allow students to directly message trained mental health specialists.
“USC has undergone a pretty massive expansion of mental health care and services, … we are [now] one of the largest, if not the largest, college counseling center in the country,” Leaks said.
Gautt added that Therapy+ aims to provide “those services that students may need to really engage in wellness and wellness, but not quite rise to the level of ‘I need to come in for individual intake’ or ‘I need to ‘ not see a psychiatrist. ‘”
Rachel Lichtman, the associate director of public communications at USC Student Health, said these new programs will be rolled out in phases over the remainder of the academic school year. As for next steps, Leaks said the goal is to educate the student body about these new services to provide as much access to the care they need.
“COVID has really opened up the world to more telehealth care,” Leaks said. “Just accessing a therapist – whether it’s a USC therapist at Counseling and Mental Health Services or UWill therapist – accessing them from home or at a location that’s convenient for you versus having to travel to the counseling center or to a location, I think, just really opened the doors and a lot of access for our students.”