The COVID-19 has disrupted our everyday lives, including access to mental health services, including those designed for students. To maintain the social distancing rules, the fall program for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) that offers counseling services to the Swarthmore College community will include Talkspace, a mobile and online therapy company for users in various locations. Although virtual sessions differ from the intimate one-on-one sessions, the college deemed the move necessary to ensure the students and staff receive the mental health services they need. The switch to an online platform may be a massive adjustment to students who have never been to therapy before.
Benefits of Using this Strategy
Some people criticize CAPS claiming that it cannot adequately support students’ therapeutic demands and does not provide enough resources required by students with marginalized identities. However, its partnership with Talkspace opens a door for access to different therapists equipped to handle various students’ needs.
Users can find therapists that best suit their requirements, putting them in a better position to get the assistance they need. Although several students are apprehensive about using the platform, some are optimistic and looking forward to getting a therapist that specializes in a particular mental issue or matches the student’s identity. Once the initial session conducted via the app or website is complete, students get a chance to choose a therapist from a recommended group based on personal matches.
Despite connection issues one out-of-state student encountered during a couple of video-chat sessions on the platform with her therapist, she appreciates the service because she managed to find a professional that deals with Latinx and first-generation people. The therapist was also qualified to handle some of the mental problems she is dealing with and wonders why it took CAPS a long time to partner with the platform.
Regardless of their location, students can access the platform for real-time therapy sessions weekly and asynchronous chat-voice-video communication with their counselor. CAPS decided to work with the company to ensure its students continue getting the help they need from any location.
The Safety of the Students Using the Platform
CAPS consulted William College that has used the platform for a year with no concerns raised by students before partnering with the company.
What to Expect When Using the Platform
It is an easy to use platform with a simple sign-up procedure, and you can comfortably access it from your phone on the app or website. A human being will match you with the most appropriate therapist. The professionals in this platform have fast response times. You will also get access to live sessions, a one-week free trial, and swift customer service.
You will also receive regular opportunities to give feedback on your experience on the platform. Since you do not have to use your real name, you can protect your identity and confidentiality. Besides the SSL encryption, the platform lets you develop a unique password to provide additional security.
The company offers various mental health services, including depression, anger, anxiety, educational assessments, self-esteem, and LGBTQ. Besides its services, affordability and accessibility make it ideal for many people.