Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
August 10, 2020

University announces partnership with mental telehealth line

By MICHELLE LIMPE | April 23, 2020

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In an email to the student body on Thursday, April 23, Vice Provost for Student Health and Well-Being Kevin Shollenberger announced that the University is partnering with TimelyMD to make TalkNow, an on-demand mental telehealth line, free and available for all Hopkins students and trainees from April 30 until at least July 10. 

TalkNow is an online resource that allows students to talk to mental health professionals at any time and from any country as long as they have internet access. 

In addition to TalkNow, through the service, students can also set up mental telehealth counseling appointments. 

Scheduled counseling is a service where you can set up ongoing mental telehealth counseling appointments with a provider who is licensed in your state,” Shollenberger wrote in his email. “This service, which is available to students located in all 50 states, will mitigate many of the limitations members of our community have faced due to the state-by-state licensure restrictions for counseling services.”

Students who are in Maryland can still set up video mental telehealth appointments with Hopkins providers. The Homewood Counseling Center, University Health Services (UHS) Mental Health and the Johns Hopkins Student Assistance Program also remain available for students in Maryland. 

In order to access TalkNow and schedule counseling appointments, students must go to the TimelyMD website, create an account with their Hopkins email address, and use the “JHU2020” service key. 

In an email to The News-Letter, Sexual Assault Resource Unit (SARU) Co-President Reah Vasilakopoulos shared that she is excited by the new service, as SARU has been urging the administration to prioritize the students’ mental health, especially for those in unsafe situations. 

“Having consistent support from trained mental-health professionals is incredibly important for survivors and people currently stuck in violent, abusive relationships or homes,” Vasilakopoulos said. “TalkNow offers a direct connection to the outside world with professionals trained to recognize the signs of intimate partner violence and help handle unhealthy, unsafe situations.”

This February, SilverCloud — an online, self-guided mental health resource — became free and available for full-time Hopkins students and trainees. SilverCloud contains interactive learning modules for students to learn cognitive behavioral therapy techniques in order to cope with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.  

Like SilverCloud, the University’s partnership with TimelyMD is part of Shollenberger’s recent efforts to increase awareness of available programs and reduce stigma surrounding mental health. Appointed in August as the University’s inaugural provost for student health and well-being, Shollenberger aims to develop a single University-wide system for primary care and health and wellness programs.  

Shollenberger concluded his email by encouraging the student body to contact Student Health and Wellness Center and University Health Services for urgent medical needs including prescription management.

“In this unique historical moment, everyone is susceptible to stress, fear, and symptoms of anxiety and depression,” Shollenberger wrote. “Those are entirely normal human responses to recent events. We care about you, and we hope you reach out if you need help.”

Rudy Malcom contributed reporting to this article.

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