META, a teletherapy platform for online mental health services, provides students with confidential and easy access to mental wellness providers. Richland Community College has become the latest institution of higher learning to offer the META mental wellness program to students.
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Richland Community College moved all classes online for the remainder of the spring semester. Richland students can download the free META mobile app and connect to a network of licensed counselors, therapists, and clinical social workers for private counseling sessions via chat, video, or voice calls.
“We were providing face-to-face instruction to over 2,000 young adults who now need support more than ever,” said Dr. Cristobal “Cris” Valdez, President of Richland Community College. “This is an adjustment for everyone, and META is the best way for us to support the mental wellness of our students to help them cope with what’s happening. The META platform provides students the freedom to choose a therapist who’s a good fit, and the ability to reach them quickly and easily.”
There is a growing concern over the mental health impact of the novel coronavirus. Mental health experts warn of a spike in anxiety and depression symptoms. The news and uncertainty surrounding the pandemic have already caused panic buying, and extended isolation can lead to feelings of depression.
“META’s network of providers are experienced working with college students and are putting in extra time to support our users during the pandemic,” said Balaji “Raj” Rajan, CEO of META. “Richland students can see which providers are currently online, browse provider video introductions, and even ask for free consultations. The freedom to choose your own counselor means a better chance of finding a compatible match. META 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.”
Unlike conference calling solutions such as Zoom, META does not share user activity data with third-party advertisers. The app also includes student engagement content such as videos and articles on mental wellness.
META is the nation’s first teletherapy app built specifically for college students. META offers real-time, video counseling with licensed mental health professionals from the privacy of an Android or Apple smartphone. 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 is free to download, and sessions can be paid for via credit card or insurance. www.meta.app.
About Richland Community College:
Richland Community College, celebrating over 45 years of educational excellence, is a comprehensive community college, offering baccalaureate, technical, continuing education, and community service programs. Serving all or part of eight counties as an “Open Door” institution, Richland is governed by a locally elected Board of Trustees, including seven at-large members and one student trustee. Richland’s mission is to empower individuals through learning and to forge partnerships that grow communities. Richland’s academic programs include general transfer programs in over 30 areas of concentration, allowing easy transfer to senior institutions through the Illinois Articulation Initiative, and over 80 Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degrees and certificates, allowing immediate employment. In addition, Richland has confirmed a number of articulation agreements with senior institutions to allow easy transfer of these AAS degrees. Approximately 5,000 students are served annually at the main campus in Decatur, at one permanent extension center, and at additional off-campus locations throughout the District. http://www.richland.edu/