UK partners with Talkspace to expand efforts to address mental health

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 29, 2022) — As a new semester is underway at the University of Kentucky, and we welcome our largest ever incoming freshman class, Student Success is working to increase student access to mental health services. 

In a unique new partnership, the university is teaming up with Talkspace, a confidential and secure online text and video chat therapy platform that offers access to mental health clinicians. With a network of thousands of credentialed clinicians, Talkspace is used by more than one million people, matching them with a licensed therapist that best suits their needs.

“Over the past few years, we know there is increasing concern about how we are supporting the mental health of all our students, and part of that is thinking about how we can create an array of opportunities for services, with the idea that not all students are comfortable with accessing services in the same way,” said Acting Associate Vice President for Student Wellbeing Corrine Williams. “TalkSpace, in particular, creates some amazing 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 match you with a provider (typically within 48 hours).
  • Connect with your provider and begin your mental health journey, including unlimited messaging and two phone or video sessions each month.

One in three college freshmen globally experience a mental health challenge, however many students feel ill-equipped with the necessary resources to manage them.

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

Williams is highly invested in meeting this national mental health crisis. She looks at Talkspace as a way to supplement the wide number of resources that already exist at UK and likens it to the Swiss cheese analogy. Each resource has holes, Williams explained. To create something that nothing can fall through, she believes that we need to layer the resources so that each and 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 spectrum of services, UK believes they are taking a step in the right direction. 

“UK is really trying to cultivate a culture of help-seeking,” Williams said. “We all need help at various points in time, and my hope is to normalize accessing mental health services. TalkSpace offers both the live sessions, which involve direct communication with a therapist, in addition to communication in between sessions which offers our students many ways to engage and seek support.”

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 at UK, students can utilize TRACS (Triage, Referral, Assistance and Crisis Support), a physical and virtual one-stop shop where students can come for a quick referral 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.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday .For more information on TRACS, visit go.uky.edu/tracs



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