Timely Care App Provides NEIU Students with Access to Free Mental Health Services

Scott Andrews, Writer

NEIU has provided access to TimelyCare, a mental health and well-being app available to all registered students at no cost. The app is being paid for by the President’s Strategic Fund for Student Retention Support.

“Students are able to seek virtual support, care, and guidance through TimelyCare,” Dr. Miki Koyama, Interim Director for Student Counseling said. “TimelyCare provides a safe place for students to express their concerns, thoughts, and feelings and discuss ways to address their concerns, develop coping strategies, and strengthen their support systems.”

The app offers more than just telehealth. Students have access to a virtual mental health platform to help them stay engaged in their studies, maintain a healthy lifestyle, improve their mental health and relationships with others, and more.

One of the app’s most powerful capabilities is to offer crisis or after-hours support and consultation with a licensed therapist within 5 to10 minutes of a request. Students have access to licensed counselors 24/7.

“In case of a mental health crisis, or times when students need to speak to someone immediately for urgent concerns, they can use Talk Now to connect with a clinician,” Koyama said.

According to Katie Neal, Vice President of Communications & Marketing at TimelyCare, “40% of requests occur outside of regular business hours or on the weekend. Often at times an in-person visit is unavailable.”

TimelyCare offers a diverse provider network catered towards each students’ needs, background, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, religion, health, socioeconomic and immigration status and more. They have professionals who identify as LGBTQIA+, speak multiple languages, and provide translation services to support more than 240 languages.

Students can download the app on their Apple or Android mobile device, or access it through a web browser at timelycare.com/neiu and log in using their NEIU ID and password. Once logged into the app, students can request a session with a licensed counselor. Within minutes, the student is connected via video and audio with the “Talk Now” feature.

If students need or want a more in-depth therapy session, they can schedule appointments at a later time. Nine sessions are free per academic year. There is an option for additional sessions to be added with private pay according to the TimelyCare website.

Dr. Koyama said “Students who are struggling emotionally and academically would benefit from scheduling individual counseling sessions via TimelyCare. TimelyCare clinicians are able to address a wide range of concerns including but not limited to anxiety, depression, relationship issues, family concerns, trauma, identity development, stress, substance use, and eating and body image concerns.”


Other useful TimelyCare features as stated in an email from Neal:

  • Health coaching – Uses techniques, motivational strategies, and behavior change theory to help students develop skills and better to manage their mental and physical health and well-being. 
  • Care navigation – A dedicated team of professionals to help students manage their care plans, appointments, and referrals. Provides a link to on-campus and community resources, including addressing basic needs such as food, housing, and transportation. 
  • Peer support community – Students can connect with peers in a safe and anonymous space who face similar challenges to support and encourage others in their wellness journeys.
  • Self-guided wellness content – Students can access yoga and meditation sessions and group conversions with providers on various topics, including grief and loss, maintaining healthy relationships, stress reduction, healthy eating, anxiety management, depression, and sleep. 


Many resources are tailored to Gen Z with short videos and Instagram-style content that is informative and engaging to modern students, Neal said.

Evidence-based mental health and medical research were used to develop and build the platform. According to Neal, “We follow the guidance of evidence-based treatment standards set forth by the American Psychological Association (APA), meaning our providers are extensively trained in: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, Motivational Interviewing, Exposure Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.”

“Meeting the need for equitable, on-demand access to care is a critical challenge that extends beyond campus boundaries. TimelyCare allows colleges and universities like NEIU to solve problems rather than just treat symptoms,” said Luke Hejl, TimelyCare’s CEO and co-founder. “Our mission at TimelyCare is to improve the health and well-being of college students by making virtual care accessible anytime, anywhere.”

“Seventy-five percent of students who used TimelyCare in the United States say their mental health and well-being improved. Included are 100% of the students who exhibited a potential suicide risk. 60% of students said they would not have had access to mental health without the app,” according to Neal.  

Nassim Bickham, Vice President of Care Transformation at TimelyCare, said. “About half of the students who have used our Peer Community or self-care resources have not had a provider visit in the last three months, underscoring the need to empower students with accessible and self-guided on-ramps for support, wherever they are on their path to wellness.”

Neal said that developers built the platform using the latest technology and security enhancements, “TimelyCare is a safe and secure platform that operates under leading security frameworks. Personal health information is stored and encrypted.”

About 5.7 % of students currently use counseling services at NEIU according to Koyama. “The hope is by adding this feature [counseling services] will be more accessible.”

TimelyMD developed the app and is located in Fort Worth, Texas. The company provides telehealth services to over 250 higher education institutions, including 1.5 million students in the United States.