META launches digital mental health platform for college students

The platform lets students select therapist based on language, gender, faith, therapy style and insurance plans accepted.
By Laura Lovett
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This morning META announced a new virtual health platform designed specifically for college students to access mental health care. 

The new platform will let students choose their therapist viewing credentials, language, gender, faith, therapy style and plans accepted. Students are able to pay for the services out of pocket, or go through their insurance. 

The platform was also designed to give students information about ways to manage stress, money and relationships. It also has a specific program called OnDeck that addresses on-campus trauma. 

WHY IT MATTERS 

Mental health issues are fairly common among college students. In fact, 39% of students in college experience a significant mental health issue, according to Active Minds, a mental health nonprofit. However, the organization reports that two out of three students with depression or anxiety don’t seek treatment. 

“Our society today throws a lot at the younger generation who deal with everything from financial to academic stress to peer pressure and campus violence. Colleges are in a bind to find solutions that are both cost-effective and used by their students,” Balaji “Raj” Rajan, CEO of META, said in a statement. “At META, we set out to solve accessibility and believe we have succeeded. Students on META can choose their own provider, on their own schedule, and in their own space.”

THE LARGER TREND

Startups are seeing a ripe opportunity use telehealth to care for college students. 

“These students are often far away from home,” Robbie Cape, CEO and co-founder of texting-based primary care startup 98point6told MobiHealthNews in September. “As a demographic, [they] have the lowest percentage affiliation with a primary care physician. Over 55% of college students, Gen Z, have a PCP, so that means over 45% do not. They do not have a relationship with a PCP at all, which makes 98point6 a great option for them. Not only that, but … 1.7 million university students don’t have any access to healthcare coverage, which again makes our offer very, very compelling for them.”

98point6 is one of those tech companies seeking to work with university systems, inking a deal with Ohio Wesleyan University last year. Betterhelp, an online behavioral counseling platform, has also made a number of deals with universities.