As part of its response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the school’s new program CougarCare is offering the services through TimelyMD, a telehealth company that specializes in higher education.
“Not all of our students and part-time employees have access to health care,” Collin College District President Neil Matkin said in a statement. “We’ve seen tremendous advances in telemedicine, and that’s what CougarCare is all about—technology that allows our students, adjunct faculty, and part-time staff to connect with a healthcare provider within minutes at no cost.”
Collin College Counseling Services offers ongoing weekly telehealth talk therapy to students during regular business hours. The new program also provides after-hours and weekend support. CougarCare’s “Talk Now” service gives eligible individuals around the clock access to free medical and mental health counseling from licensed physicians and counselors.
“Some of the factors particularly affecting students are stress, anxiety, sleep difficulty, cold, flu, sore throat and depression,” Matkin said. “We believe access to medical care may result in higher persistence and completion rates as well as contributing to overall positive outcomes for our students.”
Those eligible for the service will be able to access it at www.cougar.care and get on-demand care by making a video call through an app on a mobile device. They will have the option to choose a specific provider or select the first available medical professional when seeking service. Video consultations typically last 10 minutes or less, according to a Collin College news release.
“Virtual access to medical and mental health counseling has never been more important, especially for college students who may be learning remotely, need care after hours, and prefer to do so privately on their own devices,” TimelyMD Chief Executive Officer Luke Hejl said in a statement. “TimelyMD is proud to partner with Collin College to take quality medical and mental health care off everyone’s worry list.”
Collin College serves more than 59,000 students a year, and its website shows the school had 321 adjunct faculty and 265 part-time staff members as of August 2020.