Dawsyn Wilson ’26  |  Published October 11, 2023

A Timely Addition

TimelyCare provides Monmouth students access to mental and physical health helplines.


TIMELYCARE: They, hands down, had the most diverse care providers of anyone, said Monmouth Vice... TIMELYCARE: “They, hands down, had the most diverse care providers of anyone,” said Monmouth Vice President and Dean for Equity and Well-Being Michelle Merritt.MONMOUTH, Ill.
– Monmouth College students now have 24/7 access to mental and physical health.

Thanks to TimelyCare, an online healthcare app, students have access to multiple resources that support their mental and physical health, including 24/7 helplines.

MICHELLE MERRITT: The 1989 graduate serves as her alma mater's vice president and dean for eq... MICHELLE MERRITT: The 1989 graduate serves as her alma mater's vice president and dean for equity and well-being.TimelyCare was selected after Monmouth Vice President and Dean for Equity and Well-Being Michelle Merritt researched several virtual platforms for mental health.

“TimelyCare has kind of cornered the market in the state of Illinois,” said Merritt. “Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s team vetted all of the virtual mental healthcare groups and endorsed TimelyCare.” She said that has been the case in other states as well.

Merritt was impressed with many of TimelyCare’s features and the range of its care providers.

“They, hands down, had the most diverse care providers of anyone,” she said, adding that she found the platform to be “intuitive and user-friendly.”

“The best thing, in my opinion, is that it was a single sign-on process. One thing, one click, and it had all of your services. Not all the groups were like that.”

“And the best thing, in my opinion, is that it was a single sign-on process. One thing, one click, and it had all of your services. Not all the groups were like that.” Michelle Merritt

One of the app’s features is TalkNow, a 24/7 helpline that students can call during an emergency mental health crisis. When a student calls TalkNow, they are connected to a healthcare professional.

“They will help you through whatever crisis you’re dealing with,” said Merritt. “Say you break up with your significant other that you’ve been going out with for five years, and you’re finding that you’re having a really rough time. You can call TalkNow and just talk through it.”

TimelyCare provides Monmouth students up to 12 counseling sessions per year with licensed counselors.


MedicalNow

TimelyCare also offers MedicalNow, a 24/7 medical advisory helpline, where providers will talk students through symptoms and what to do.

“For example, if you wake up at 3 in the morning, and you have a fever and you’re in a cold sweat and you’re feeling really ill, you can call them, and then they will talk you through it,” said Merritt.

If the situation requires it, medication for students can be prescribed.

Merritt noted that TimelyCare is always available.

“You are always on your phone, and it’s right there, so don’t feel like you’re alone, because you’re not,” she said. “It is really important for students to take care of their health. Because if you can’t take care of you, you can’t do other things. You can’t be successful in the classroom. You can’t be successful with relationships. So, taking care of you is really important.”

“If you can’t take care of you, you can’t do other things. You can’t be successful in the classroom. You can’t be successful with relationships. So, taking care of you is really important.” Michelle Merritt


“Adding TimelyCare allows for more students to easily find and access care for their mental health,” said Madison Walker ’24 of Vernon Hills, Illinois, one of the College’s Mental Health Peer Educators. “TimelyCare provides students with scheduled counseling and 24/7 talk-now counseling. It also allows students to access mental health services effortlessly from their phones and without the hassle of finding the counseling offices on campus, which can be daunting for students.”


Mental Health Peer Listeners

Students can learn more about TimelyCare and the College’s other mental health services by reaching out to one of the school’s Peer Listeners, such as Walker and Bindi Gosney ’24 of Keokuk, Iowa.

“We’re here to make sure everyone knows how to use the online talk therapy,” said Gosney. “We are the front line people on campus for mental health.”

The Peer Listeners hold hours Monday through Friday. Hours are kept at a variety of time slots and locations, including the Huff Athletic Center, Hewes Library and Mellinger Commons, which is located on the lower level of the Center for Science and Business.

A poster for the group advises that the service is “for students who need a listening ear, a break, tips and tricks to deal with daily stressors, or assistance connecting to campus resources.” Peer Listeners are certified in mental health first aid and peer education.

“The initiatives and programming of the Mental Health Peer Educators are helping to decrease the stigma around mental health and mental illness on campus,” said Walker. “Creating a more comfortable environment for students to reach out to other students for help or to receive more information about mental health services is one part of how the Peer Educators seek to create a campus climate that is more open to discussing mental health.”

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