TigerCare telehealth services offer students new way to access healthcare from campus

SGA and counseling services promote this new free resource for Trinity students

The health of college students is of utmost priority for every university. However, a Boston University study from earlier this year found that overall health and mental health specifically in college students is worsening. So what are schools doing to address the issue?

Trinity University has been seeking solutions for adequately dealing with student mental health. An email written by Danny Nguyen, student body president, in the middle of September was sent to all Trinity students to inform them of the new Tiger Care telehealth program and how they could utilize it.

“Telehealth is supposed to be a service that should not cost students, but also provide a meaningful resource that helps break the stigma of addressing mental health,” Nguyen said.

The Student Government Association (SGA) originally heard about the Tiger Care service through Nguyen’s efforts. He had invited various stakeholders to sit in on their meetings and share what they did around campus. When Dr. Richard Reams, the director of counseling services at Trinity, discussed his work, he highlighted the Tiger Care service and its background. Plans for the program were already in place before the summer. SGA learning about the benefits offered by Tiger Care led to an initiative to push out information on the system to the student body. Nguyen led the way in this regard, choosing to send the previously mentioned email.

Reams gave further insight on the new program’s details, explaining that the program adds previously unavailable resources like nutritional counseling and access to 24/7 in-the-moment telephonic counselors.

“Tiger Care live expands the on-campus mental and physical health options that Counseling Services and Health Services continue to offer.” Reams said.

These benefits are made widely accessible to students, as they are available everywhere and anywhere at no cost.

“Some students freak out when they see a cost stated, but that cost disappears at the time of the appointment. The student must enter the coupon code ALCTRINITY22 when prompted. This is challenging to communicate clearly to everyone,” Reams said.

Trinity students have already taken advantage of Tiger Care despite how new it is. The counseling department strongly encourages students to use these services when needed. During September, there were 17 calls to a 24/7 counselor, 15 psychiatry appointments, 13 counseling appointments, 12 nutrition appointments and 12 urgent care appointments. This utilization of services exceeds that of other universities in their first month with similar online services.

Reams sympathized with those who may feel tentative about potentially going to counseling for the first time.

“Meeting with a counselor for the first time, whether in person or virtually, is at least a little anxiety-provoking for everyone. It takes courage to make and keep a first counseling appointment. Act bravely while feeling the nervousness, and know that if you don’t click with the first counselor you talk to, you can schedule an appointment with a different counselor. That’s true at Counseling Services, too,” Reams said.

As past stigmas around mental health have continued to persist, Trinity’s SGA and the counseling department hope to aid in dispelling these harmful ideas. Services such as Tiger Care are a step forward to making these services accessible to everyone.

Nguyen was able to provide the SGA’s vision regarding this new addition to services available at Trinity. “There is a resource that I can always point to whenever I have a friend or a person I care for in need … [SGA] is making sure the students are not only having a great Trinity experience, but that they’re having a great college experience as well,” Nguyen said.

If you need a private location for telehealth sessions, there are options. Call us (210-999-7411) or email us ([email protected]) to schedule a location.