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California CC Students Gain 24/7 Telehealth Support

Some California community colleges are delivering 24/7 online health and wellness programs to their students through an discount procurement arrangement set up by the Foundation for California Community Colleges with TimelyMD. The foundation is a nonprofit serving the system's Board of Governors and Chancellor's Office; TimelyMD is a telehealth provider for higher education.

Participating colleges can choose from three levels of services. Some funding is being provided through a $30 million allocation in the state's 2021 budget, specifically to support mental health services to community college students.

About 20 of California's community colleges are using TimelyMD's around-the-clock access to on-demand and scheduled medical and mental support from licensed providers. Students can tap the services at no cost to them (the colleges pay) and without having to go through their health insurance plans. Virtual services may include counseling; psychiatry services; and preventative care such as health coaching, yoga, meditation and grief group sessions.

"We care deeply about our students, and the last two years have been exceptionally difficult for them. Providing telehealth and teletherapy services to students is no longer a question of if, but when. Between the CARES Act funding and state allocations, the resources are available," said Karen Engelsen, vice president of Student Development at Victor Valley College, in a press release. The college began providing medical and mental health care through TimelyMD to students during spring 2021.


Students access TimelyMD's services using a TimelyCare app from their phone or other device. Through the app, users can view profiles, faces and specialty care details of the licensed physicians and counselors available to them. They can choose to meet with a specific provider or select the first one available. According to the company, consultations begin within 5-10 minutes.

TimelyMD said it can also help schools deliver support to students for their basic needs, such as in-person health care, food assistance, housing assistance, transit support, bill payments, childcare and legal services.

Learn more about the foundation's program through the TimelyMD website.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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