META has launched what it says is the nation’s first teletherapy smartphone app built specifically for college students. Obviously called META.app, it aims to create easy, stigma-free access for students to licensed therapists.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), one in five students have a diagnosable mental illness. While most universities offer counseling services either on campus or via referrals, students still encounter barriers when striving to overcome the stigma associated with getting help in a timely fashion, and scheduling regular, ongoing appointments, due to increased demand. According to the Center for Collegiate Mental Health, college counseling center utilization has increased by an average of 30-40%, and still 40% of students who struggle with mental illness do not seek help.
“Our society today throws a lot at the younger generation who deal with everything from financial to academic stress to peer pressure and campus violence. Colleges are in a bind to find solutions that are both cost-effective and used by their students,” Balaji “Raj” Rajan, CEO of Ceannate Corp. and META, said in a statement. “At META, we set out to solve accessibility and believe we have succeeded. Students on META can choose their own provider, on their own schedule, and in their own space.”
Available on iOS and Android, the META app allows students to select therapists based on language, gender, faith, therapy style, and accepted insurance plans. From there, students can schedule an introductory session with their therapist before making any payment. Unlike other teletherapy apps, META allows students to either leverage their insurance plans or pay out of pocket within the app. In addition to online counseling, META also provides students with relevant content on topics that regularly impact their lives, such as ways to reduce stress related to exams, money, relationships, addiction and campus safety issues. META also offers OnDeck, a surge protection for colleges when they experience a traumatic, on-campus incident that requires additional counselors for an extended period.
Therapists on the META app can set their own schedules and deliver chat and video counseling at affordable rates to students. Additionally, META takes the hassle out of marketing to patients by putting therapists directly in front of the students.