NTCC expands mental health initiative

By Doc Anderson

Northeast Texas Community College has expanded its Virtual Care Initiative to reach and better serve the student population.

In the Fall 2021 semester, NTCC introduced its Virtual Care Initiative via the Eagle Assist App. The program initially allowed students to access a counselor for 10 free sessions.

The program has since been revamped and now allows students an unlimited amount of sessions with a counselor or a therapist. Sheila Eddy, Associate Director of Academic Advising, said the initial launch’s success led to the expansion.

“The process started last year, taking baby steps, it was our pilot program,” Eddy said. “This year it was refunded by the college to make a larger push to reach students.”

NTCC’s push for mental health services comes at the head of a mental health crisis in colleges and universities in the U.S. according to the American Psychological Association website, “During the 2020-2021 school year, more than 60% of college students met the criteria for at least one mental health problem.”

To access mental health services, students need only check their student email. The Virtual Care Group periodically sends out emails with instructions on how to access services. Students must click on the provided link and fill out the necessary information. After the student has completed the registration portion, they are allowed to select the services needed.

Lyndi Rawlings, NTCC student, said the overall mental health of generation Z is in decline and thinks the Virtual Care Initiative is a great idea.

“I think that it’s [mental health] become worse throughout the years. There seems to be a higher rate of depression or anxiety within our generation,” Rawlings said. “I think it’s good the college is putting an effort into reaching out to students.”

For more information on the Virtual Care Initiative, contact Sheila Eddy at seddy@ntcc.edu.