CWRU Care becomes available for university students

CWRU Care seeks to make mental health services more accessible for students than ever before.

Courtesy of CWRU

CWRU Care seeks to make mental health services more accessible for students than ever before.

Hannah Jackson, Staff Reporter

Case Western Reserve University has launched their latest mental health initiative, CWRU Care, to give undergraduate, graduate and professional students 24/7 access to mental health services from outside Ohio lines for free. In partnership with TimelyMD, a telehealth provider for students used at universities across the country, including Duke University and Johns Hopkins University. CWRU Care will give students the opportunity to speak with counselors about anything, anywhere and at any time. 

Students will be able to call 24/7 for support through TalkNow, an immediate response service and speak to a support provider through either a voice or video call from the CWRU Care website or TimelyMD app. Students can discuss anything ranging from “general anxiety to loss of a family member to a critical situation,” as stated on CWRU Care’s website. There is also the option to schedule an appointment with a counselor. 

Richard Pazol, the director of counseling at University Health & Counseling Services (UH&CS) and a clinical instructor of Psychology, helps to explain how these scheduled sessions work. Pazol indicated that students “can select a counselor in their state based on their needs, schedule and other preferences.” He further stated that students can meet “with their counselor at the scheduled time for a telehealth session through the TimelyMD app or website. Students can talk with their CWRU Care counselor about any issues they are having and are able to schedule ongoing follow-up visits with the same counselor if they choose.” 

However, scheduling an appointment is only available to CWRU students within the U.S., and is unavailable to international students. Still, students living outside the U.S. will be able to get 24/7 support through CWRU Care as long as they have a stable internet connection. In the event that a student would need a reliable virtual private network (VPN), they can visit University Technology’s VPN setup website for more information. 

Students should know that the credentials of the counselor will change depending on whether the student is using the 24/7 TalkNow service versus the option for a scheduled appointment. 

“Scheduled Counseling visits are only conducted by licensed counselors who are physically located in the same state as the student seeking counseling,” Pazol clarified. “At a minimum, TalkNow providers have a master’s degree in behavioral health, but they do not need to be a licensed counselor in the state the student is in when calling. This approach allows TalkNow providers to operate across state lines, since they provide ‘mental health support,’ rather than ‘counseling.’” Students are also advised that counselors through CWRU Care cannot write prescriptions.

Signing up for CWRU Care only takes a few minutes and is formatted to allow those with disabilities to use the website and mobile app. Students can visit the CWRU Care website and sign up with their email address and enter their name as it appears on their Case ID. Through the app, students would follow this same procedure after downloading the TimelyMD application. For students with disabilities, accessibility features can be set up on the website by going to the Account tab and selecting “Accessibility” to change the web or app interface to suit the student’s needs.

As a CWRU Care patient, visits will be saved under your records and, with the consent of the student, be shared with Counseling Services. Students who are under the age of 18 will need to create an account under their parent or guardian’s information, meaning that their guardian will be able to access their records as well. Records can also be shared with your health provider by printing or emailing the records or by calling customer support at 833-484-6359 to have a copy sent to your provider. This information is accessible to the student at any time.

When asked what advice he would give to students suffering from what they may perceive as minor forms of anxiety and stress, Pazol responded with words of trust and encouragement: “We hope that students would feel comfortable reaching out to either UH&CS or CWRU Care for support, even if the student might consider the issue as minor anxiety or stress, such as around academics and exams. It is actually better to not wait until the situation has reached a crisis point. Getting help earlier can make the circumstances easier to manage overall. All of the counselors at CWRU Care and at UH&CS have extensive experience working with undergraduate and graduate students and will always take you seriously. We will work with you to help you address whatever is going on.”

Students who are experiencing an emergency situation are encouraged to contact UH&CS directly anytime at 216-368-5872 from any location.