Southern University Law Center has become the latest institution of higher learning to offer the META mental wellness program to students. META, a teletherapy app, offers mobile counseling to help college students gain easy access to mental wellness providers.
“We have a proud tradition of equipping our diverse group of students with the best possible tools to help them succeed,” said John K. Pierre, Chancellor of Southern University Law Center. “The META mental wellness program allows students to choose their own counselor and avoid the stigma of anyone knowing they’re in therapy. META’s positive messaging inspires students to consider their emotional health.”
META’s mission is to circumvent the stigma surrounding mental health by offering users an easy way to receive counseling without having to visit an on-campus location. The app connects students to a network of licensed counselors, therapists, and psychologists. Students download the app, choose a provider, and receive counseling through the privacy and convenience of their smart phones via chat, video, or voice calls. The technology powering the app provides students the freedom to choose a therapist who’s a good fit, and the ability to reach them quickly and easily. The app is free to download, and sessions can be paid for via credit card or insurance.
Mental health issues are a growing concern among college populations. According to the American College Health Association, college students are struggling more with stress, anxiety, and depression than they ever have before; 60% have experienced “overwhelming anxiety” in the past 12 months. Yet large numbers of college students avoid seeking services due to privacy concerns and the stigma surrounding mental illness.
It’s also a concern for students of color. According to a Boston University survey of 43,000 college students, African-American students with symptoms of a mental health condition were half as likely as white students to be receiving treatment.
The META app allows users to filter therapists by specialty, view provider bio videos, and send chat messages before receiving counseling. Providers are available during nights and weekends to better fit the student’s schedule and users can utilize medical insurance or pay out-of-pocket if they choose.
Beyond the app, the campus holds quarterly mental health and wellness sessions where local professionals provide free services, such as blood pressure readings, HIV testing and screenings, and information. This is to encourage a healthy lifestyle.
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