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The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

TimelyCare: ‘A Therapist in Your Pocket’ Free for DVC Students


One of the many basic needs resources Diablo Valley College provides to its students is TimelyCare, a smartphone app and website that offers free online therapy appointments, 24/7 “TalkNow” crisis counseling, “MedicalNow” healthcare and more.

DVC’s partnership with TimelyCare–a contractor that specializes in providing telehealth services for colleges and universities–is an initiative of the Associated Students of DVC (ASDVC) and has served hundreds of DVC students since 2021.

“It’s cool that we have a free service,” said Stephanie Carrasco, a second-semester kinesiology major, who added that the presence of free telehealth “takes off from the load” of student expenses.

However, many students and even faculty are unaware the service exists, despite sustained efforts by administration to increase access and awareness for student wellbeing.

“That should be the forefront of what teachers and faculty are trying to [show] to students,” said Nick Barnard, a philosophy student who was previously unaware of TimelyCare. Barnard compared the lack of information about TimelyCare to “financial aid in general: it’s hard to try to take advantage of it if you don’t even know it’s there.”

Kathy Bennett, a mental health counselor at DVC, noted that each student at the school is alloted 12 scheduled therapy sessions per year in addition to unlimited crisis support.

“I would encourage people to take advantage of the TalkNow [on-demand crisis counseling],” said Bennett. “This is a stressful time of the semester, and it’s great to be able to have a therapist in your pocket.”

There are about 70 licensed therapists to select from, according to Bennett, offering specialized support for a variety of conditions. Students can choose from therapists who are racially diverse, speak Spanish or have different backgrounds.

“So they can really pick someone they think would get them and understand them,” said Bennett. “And I think that’s really, really special and really important for mental health.”

Additionally, TimelyCare offers telehealth medical services through MedicalNow, where students can receive diagnoses for common conditions such as the flu. It also provides a psychiatry service that can prescribe mental health medications (excluding controlled substances).

All services are compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which guarantees confidentiality for medical information.

ASDVC President Ashley Alvarez said the collaboration between TimelyCare and the school’s student government is part of a broader push to expand mental health support and basic needs resources for DVC students.

“We do have underrepresented communities here [at DVC], we have international students, and health is a worldwide basic necessity,” said Alvarez. “I feel proud that the college is pioneering and pushing for basic needs.”

“Advocating for mental health is very, very important,” she added. “It’s very important to keep [these services] alive here on campus.”

“If you’re going through a tough time, it can save someone’s life.”

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About the Contributor
Elizabeth Flinn, Staff Writer

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  • M

    Martha DunhamMay 5, 2024 at 2:06 pm

    This is clearly a wonderful benefit, free health care, BUT when I went to sign up, they asked a lot of questions and had me agree to the 1p2 pages of terms and conditions. Included therein was a statement that they will not fund the morning after pill and other women’s reproductory services. The company is based in Texas so no surprise they are against the right to choose. I refused to sign up. DVC should find a pro-choice company to provide services. How much does this company make by giving us “free” care? Is their alterior motive reactionary and anti-abortion? I sent Pres. Susan Lamb and the paper an email about this months ago and got no reply. Please follow up on this. Thank you.