Sometimes, we all need a little help. FIU understands the needs of its students, including its more than 7,000 fully online learners—those who take all classes through FIU Online—and has partnered with WellConnect to offer mental health counseling anywhere in the nation, 24/7, at no extra cost, for those currently residing in the U.S.
WellConnect’s network of more than 17,000 licensed clinicians all over the nation can provide FIU Online students and their family members digital or even face-to-faces services, says Todd Lengnick, director of Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS). With so many therapists in the WellConnect network across the U.S., it’s likely that online students may find a number of professionals close by.
Mental health services paid out of pocket can be costly for students as they range between $80 to $250 per session, offers Lengnick. However, CAPS services through WellConnect are covered by the student health fee. This coverage allows students to take advantage of counseling face to face, via text, chat, video or phone for up to five sessions per presenting issue. (All other students—whether taking classes remotely, face-to-face or in a hybrid model—likewise have access to no-cost mental health services through CAPS and should acquaint themselves with what is available.)
Therapists who speak Spanish and other languages are also available. Students simply call 866-640-4777 and mention FIU as the school code or visit go.fiu.edu/counseling and log in with their FIU credentials to start taking advantage of the services.
“This is a convenience for all fully online students to get therapy on their own couch, on their tablet or phone,” states Lengnick, who stresses that it’s not just mental health counseling. WellConnect’s services also extend to couples and family therapy, financial planning and legal consultations.
“Most of our fully online students work and some are the primary breadwinners for their families. This period of time with COVID-19 has been particularly hard for students,” explains Lengnick. “There are a ton of stressors right now.”
One of the most common stressors for students is the uncertainty, Lengnick says. In addition, he points out that more than two-thirds of FIU’s online student population are caregivers for their families including supporting children and adult family members, and these additional roles can generate more strain.
Faculty and staff who want to help
“Being home all day long, morning to night, all in the same space, is creating a lot of struggle in many ways, so having an outlet is really important,” highlights Lengnick, who underscores the need for professors to be on the lookout for students who may be in need of these supportive services CAPS has arranged.
Faculty and staff can call 844-208-7070, which is a “fast” support line to get advice on how to help a student, should an issue arise, he offers. Aside from the help line, faculty and staff can also visit fiu.kognito.com to learn effective ways of empathizing, validating and recommending services to students, Lengnick points out.
“We are living through a uniquely difficult time,” Lengnick affirms, “but we are here to help and offer hope. We’ll get through this together.”