January 9, 2024 – Life these days is hectic and stressful…appointments, errands, schoolwork, jobs and more. So, when Wesley Yates found himself a little “stuck,” so to speak, he found an eye-opening resource at Davidson-Davie Community College – TimelyCare. It’s one of many free resources offered at the college that “meet students where they are” in life.
In fact, these resources meet students where they are in multiple ways and platforms including phone calls, video chats, online forums and help that’s offered on evening and weekends, too. Services include evening and weekend assistance to students, faculty and the community; 24/7 virtual and mental health care; and online options for adult learners.
“Being able to offer these services to our students means more than just fulfilling a role; it’s a privilege,” says Keisha Jones, associate vice president of student affairs and chief diversity officer. “It’s an opportunity to make a positive impact on their lives, contributing to a campus culture where every student feels valued, supported and equipped to navigate the challenges they may encounter.”
Yates, a native of Winston-Salem studying to be a paralegal, was able to access TalkNow, a new telehealth program for students that’s accessible 24/7 and provides medical and mental virtual health care from a smartphone or any web-enabled device.
“TimelyCare was brought to my attention when I was first getting started on campus, Yates explains. “I was talking with a young woman who told me about the service and what it does. So, I basically downloaded the app and explored what they did.”
Not long after, Yates opted to set up his very first meeting. “I was struggling with life. Juggling school with aspects of my life can be difficult. I have moments where I feel overwhelmed, anxious and I’m just having a hard time personally, and I needed an outlet to go to. … It was actually good, and it definitely helped.”
Yates says his favorite thing about the service is the fact that students can choose what kind of specialist they want to connect with. “The app tells you the different specialty areas you can choose from and what types of work (the specialists) do,” he says. “It’s really cool to pick and choose to find the best fit.”
“The concept of TimelyCare is truly fantastic,” Jones notes. “In today’s landscape, where many students grapple with anxiety and mental health challenges, it’s more crucial than ever.”
While she explains that it’s disheartening to acknowledge the prevalence of these types of issues, it reinforces the importance of the resources offered at the college. “Our goal is to create an environment where students feel supported in their personal and academic journey.”
Yates adds he appreciates the support provided by the college in a private setting. “I did a virtual meeting when I was at home. I wanted to talk about personal issues. I told them what was going on and was able to vent what I needed to and really kind of put it all out on the table.”
In turn, the specialist provided advice on how to cope and control his anxiety and stress. “It feels like you’re talking to a teacher; they give feedback. It’s a very helpful tool to use.”
Jones adds that the fact that students can connect with someone for free is remarkable. “Our dedication to removing financial barriers underscores our commitment to accessible support for every student. It’s a testament to our belief that everyone deserves the opportunity to seek help without worrying about the cost.”
And Jones shares that the data supports the fact that these services are crucial to student success. As of December, 309 students enrolled in TimelyCare; there were 298 visits; 49 percent of visits occurred after hours; 89 percent of visits were for mental health counseling; 100 percent of the students use the TalkNow feature (24/7 on demand access to a mental health professional). Students rated both visits and providers 4.9/5.
“The availability of TalkNow 24/7 is a game-changer,” Jones adds. “The convenience it offers is paramount because we can never predict when a student might need support. Knowing they can reach out at any hour ensures that they are never alone in facing their challenges.”
Along with TimelyCare and TalkNow, students have access to on demand medical services 24/7, scheduled counseling, as well as self-care content such as on demand yoga, self-care journeys for help with anxiety, depression, sleep and more.
Jones notes that the self-care component is a truly significant enhancement. “Empowering students with tools for their well-being aligns with our broader vision of fostering resilience and personal growth. It encourages a proactive approach to mental health, enabling students to actively participate in their own journey to wellness.”
Beyond health and wellness, the college offers adult learner and online options, which allow flexibility and includes curriculum programs and short-term training options. The school also provides evening and weekend hours to help provide support after hours.
Davidson-Davie students, faculty and even the community can connect with the Evening/Weekend coordinator who can assist in multiple ways, like scheduling appointments, answering questions, and even providing directions to buildings and classrooms on campus.
“Recognizing the diverse needs and schedules of our student body, extending our services into the evening is essential,” Jones says. “It ensures that support is available when it’s needed most, further emphasizing our commitment to being there for our students in every possible way. … Ensuring the well-being and success of our students is at the core of my commitment to our university community.”
Photo Credit: Wesley Yates, a native of Winston-Salem studying to be a paralegal, is one of many Davidson-Davie students who have found the free healthcare resources at the college especially beneficial.
Davidson-Davie Community College (www.DavidsonDavie.edu), which incorporated Davie County into its name in 2021, is a fully accredited, multi-campus college where students of all ages and backgrounds pursue academic and career-focused education in order to build successful futures. As one of 58 institutions within the North Carolina Community College System, Davidson-Davie offers more than 40 degree and professional certificate programs, as well as affordable college-credit coursework to students who plan to transfer to four-year schools. With a mission to serve the changing needs of students competing in a global environment, Davidson-Davie is committed to quality education, innovative and equitable learning experiences, training, and support across a wide range of 21st-century career fields.