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Updates to the Saint Mary’s Health and Counseling Center announced

In an email received on June 21, 2022,  the Saint Mary’s College Student Affairs Office announced that the Timely Care virtual health system would be discontinued for student use at Saint Mary’s effective July 1, 2022. 

The Timely Care virtual health system was originally implemented for student use in the Fall of 2020 as a campus-wide resource during the Covid-19 pandemic. The virtual health system was able to connect students to licensed professionals, ensuring they had access to doctors and mental health services without having to visit in person during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Through the virtual health system, students were able to access medical resources from a smartphone or other device at any time of day or night and from any location. This virtual health service was provided free of charge and did not require medical insurance for doctor visits. 

According to a press release on the Saint Mary’s College website, the Timely Care virtual health system was brought about through “a joint effort between the Student Government Association, Blue Mantle, and the Office of Student Affairs” in order to offset the in-person counseling services Saint Mary’s College had to offer during the Covid-19 pandemic.

 In a publicized statement at the time, previous interim vice president of Student Affairs and current dean of students Gloria Jenkins said, “Because issues can arise 24/7, finding a support system that they [the students] could reach out to anytime was very important for the welfare of our students.”

Jenkins continued, “Yes, students have the opportunity to visit our Health and Counseling Center, but only during normal business hours. We had been interested in supplementing their care, and SMC Care is a great service to do just that.” 

With the virtual health system now no longer available, the Health and Counseling Center has been working to create updates. 

In a statement given upon request, the director of the Health and Counseling Center Sarah Granger stated, “We are pleased to announce that we have doubled our counseling staff and continue to collaborate with various campus departments to provide support on weekends and after hours.” 

Currently, confidential resources on campus include the Saint Mary’s College Campus Ministry department and the Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO), an office at Saint Mary’s College aimed at providing help and services to students who have faced sexual violence, relationship violence, and stalking, as well as providing learning services to prevent future violence in the tri-campus area. 

In addition, non-confidential resources include Saint Mary’s College Campus Safety, Residence Life staff members, and first-year peer mentors. Sara Granger also discussed how the Health and Counseling Center had been working to prepare these resources for the new school year.  

“In preparation for the academic year, we met with peer mentors, student leaders, and RAs to provide resources, both on and off-campus, and tools to help support students. We will continue to conduct outreach and share available resources throughout the semester,” Sarah Granger stated. 

According to the Saint Mary’s College Health and Counseling website, their office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday but is closed for national holidays. If students are in need of an appointment for counseling or health-related services, they are encouraged to schedule an appointment by contacting the Health and Counseling Office at 574-284-4805. 

Other off-campus resources include the National Crisis Text Line, 741741 (for texting only), the National Sexual Assault Hotline, 800-656-HOPE (4673), and the LGBTQ+ Hotline, 866-488-7386.

Liz Schutter

Contact Liz at eschutter01@saintmarys.edu