The University of Connecticut’s Mental Health Services is exclusively using online platforms to provide student care for the rest of spring semester, MJ Raleigh, the interim co-leader of Mental Health Services, said.
The online-only services allow students who were already in therapy, as well as students who have never previously needed assistance, to continue having appointments, Raleigh said.
“It has gone from 100% in-person to 100% online, which is pretty impressive,” Raleigh said.
The face-to-face appointments are done with a specialized version of WebEx, Raleigh said. It is required by HIPAA to ensure that personal information will remain protected on online platforms.
“We have a secured HIPAA compliant WebEx,” Raleigh said. “The session is protected and no one can get in to it [except] those invited.”
Raleigh said that it would be unethical to stop talking to patients and abandon their care only because they could not have in-person appointments for the rest of the semester.
“It’s just the right thing to do,” Raleigh said. “It’s our work. It’s our passion. We make sure we continue to provide services students need and desire.”
Although it had been previously discussed to begin providing online services, Mental Health Services fast-tracked the implementation the week before spring break to make sure they could be prepared for when online classes started.
Raleigh said that within the first three weeks of the online services, there has yet to be any negative feedback from both providers and students. It may take some more time to get a complete feedback, however, since both parties are still getting into the routine of the system.
“Students like it,” Raleigh said. “Some think it’s better, it’s not as stressful, but, all around, I have not heard any negatives.”
The online-services will continue to be available, even when the university has resumed normal operations, but it will not be the only option, like it is currently, Raleigh said.
“It may not be the primary modality, but it will continue to be a service,” Raliegh said.
For those interested in mental health services:
Call 860-486-4705 during Mental Health Services’ hours of operation
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 10:30 a.m – 4:30 p.m.
Rachel Philipson is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.