by Michael Mahaffey
Taking online courses as you earn your master’s or bachelor’s degree is exciting, but it often comes with certain challenges — learning to navigate online courses, developing reliable study habits, creating relationships with professors and course mates, and finding a balance between your academic, work and family life.
Whether you need one-time help to get through a rough patch or more focused attention to work through a more complex problem, OU Online’s new mental health counseling service, provided by TELUS Health, puts the power to reach out for support right in your hands.
The TELUS Health Student Support app provides 24/7 access to free, on-demand mental health counseling and support services for all OU Online graduate and undergraduate students via the app, phone and the web.
Through the app, you can schedule a private and confidential session – via your choice of live chat or phone call – with a licensed therapist or counselor who has experience dealing with students’ unique challenges .
“We know the last few years have been incredibly challenging, and mental health struggles can make succeeding in school even harder,” said Hannah Rieger, director of student support services for OU Online. “We want all of our online students to have access to the support they need, when they need it. This new TELUS Health app makes that possible.”
Counselors are available to help you through a variety of academic and personal issues, including adapting to a new learning style or culture, creating a balance between personal and academic priorities, feelings of isolation, loneliness, sadness, stress or worry, frustration or uncertainty related to studies or post-graduation plans, and much more.
Students can use the app to request on-demand support from an on-call counselor for help with immediate problems or choose to connect with the same counselor over multiple sessions for help with more complex matters. There is even after-hours crisis support for urgent situations.
There is no limit on the number or length of sessions you can have as long as support remains short-term, focused on achievable goals and clinically appropriate. Service is available in several languages, including English, French, Spanish, Cantonese and Mandarin, with the ability to request additional language options as needed.
The app also includes a self-help library containing videos, articles and infographics that address various mental health and wellness topics, including virtual fitness sessions and self-administered assessments.
To get started, simply follow these steps:
“Our goal in Student Support Services is to give our online students the resources they need to achieve their academic dreams,” Rieger said. “If providing this new service to our students helps even one person to be happier or more productive, either academically or personally, then it will be a success.”
For more information about the TELUS Health Student Support app, visit OU Online Student Support Services or the TELUS Health Student Support app website. You can also call TELUS Health directly at 1-866-408-2828.