Upswing Teams with META Teletherapy Platform for Delivering Mental Health Services to Non-traditional College Students

Aug 07, 2020 — Upswing, an online student engagement organization, is partnering with META, the nation’s first teletherapy platform built specifically for college students, to address the challenges students face when grappling with their mental health needs.

Upswing’s mission is to create parity in the resources available to non-traditional and online students. Now the challenges of accessing resources virtually extend to 14 million students as many colleges adopt online or hybrid models for fall.

“Upswing data shows that 71% of the challenges students are facing are not academic, and range from personal to financial setbacks to issues like depression and anxiety,” says Upswing co-founder and CEO Melvin Hines. “Students who are not on campus, adult students, online students, and non-traditional students often lack a sense of belonging and knowing what resources are available and how to access them. Our partnership with META helps to address the mental health barriers to student success.”

Fifty million Americans are living with mental illness, and college students are particularly affected. Sixty percent of college students say the pandemic has made it difficult to access mental health care, even as financial stress and depression prevalence increased.

Hines says Upswing’s key focus this past spring semester was mental health. Upswing chose to work with META because of their work with colleges and universities across the country, providing students with access to mental health services.

“This is going to be a very non-traditional school year, and it’s already impacting students’ mental health,” says META CEO, Balaji Rajan. “By integrating with Upswing, we can better reach students to let them know help is available wherever they are and maintain continuity of care.”

META helps Upswing ensure that every student using its platform has someone to reach out to for timely support. Through its mobile app, META provides access to licensed therapists and counselors to help students stay confident as they go through all the critical periods of their lives. META also provides the content to help students along their journey and affords colleges the opportunity to onboard staff counselors alongside META’s network of independent mental health providers.

Upswing’s users access the META app through the Upswing Integrated Service Platform and virtual assistant, Ana, to search, select, and engage with a nationwide network of independent mental health professionals through chat, voice, and video calls.

“Students are displaced right now, and when they come back to campus, there is still a stigma about walking into a counseling center,” says Hines.

Now students use their mobile phone through the Upswing platform, and through the META app can look at in-depth profiles and get a free, 15-minute consultation before engaging with their chosen provider.

“We want to support students as fully as possible, and we’re excited our partnership with META makes mental health care accessible for students by providing them with the help they need when and where they need it. And it defeats the barriers standing between students and their success,” adds Hines.

About Upswing: Upswing is an Austin, Texas-based online student engagement organization focused on removing the barriers to degree equity. Learn more about Upswing at https://upswing.io/