Behavioral & Mental Health Coaching for Students in the Age of COVID-19 and Racial Trauma

Strategic Partnerships for Student Success

Inside Higher Ed surveyed 187 two- and four-year college presidents on which COVID-19 concerns kept them up at night. Student mental health emerged as a top priority. Also, recent incidents of racial injustice are highly likely to impact the well-being of students, especially the most vulnerable populations. If colleges are currently underprepared to respond to the increase in demand for counseling services, the future will depend on strategic partnerships for student success.

Institutions should consider alternative solutions for barriers students face when placed on waiting-lists for counseling appointments. Perhaps students could build resilience with immediate access to professional help for routine problems. For example, coaching has been identified as high impact practice to assist students with coping strategies, stress management, and referrals to campus resources and social services.

We present the challenges:

  • About a year before the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) predicted a shortage of mental health and addiction counselors over the next decade.

  • According to recent a survey by BestColleges, among students impacted by COVID-19, 81% somewhat or strongly agreed they experienced while roughly 44% expressed worry about their ability to enroll or to stay enrolled in college.

  • Loneliness due to social distancing is a widespread and significant problem impacting the mental health and success of college students in the U.S. According to recent surveys, 79% of GenZ youth (18-22) are lonely.

  • One in five college students say their mental health has significantly worsened during the coronavirus pandemic, according to an April survey of more than 2,000 students conducted by Active Minds.

We propose a solution:

Founded as a mental health firm in 1980, Health Management Systems of America (HMSA – provides contracted services to over 1500 public and private organizations. Through its work with various fraternities and sororities, the HMSA Campus Assistance Program (CAP - has been extended to numerous college and university campuses across the country.

HMSA has partnered with GreyPrint Consulting ( to evolve CAP into a new program - Coaching for Student Success (CS2). CS2 provides 24/7 telephonic mental and behavioral services for college students. The ultimate goals of CS2 are: student retention, student success, and institutional savings. CS2 program highlights include:

  • Coaches licensed in behavioral/mental health and trained in motivational techniques

  • 24/7 “In-the Moment” telephonic support

  • Mental health crisis stabilization and assistance with everyday life challenges

  • Coaches aware of social services to assess and refer to community, state, and federal resources

  • On-campus partnerships to augment existing services and special initiatives such as “Early-Alert”

  • 4-step model designed to provide comprehensive and tailored coaching services to each student

  • Coaching and Utilization Report to provide data and analysis to inform institutional leadership

  • Well-being digital risk assessment and engagement program

  • CS2 Mobile App with push notifications of programs, services, resources, and self-help tools

  • Social Media Outreach to promote topical content, emergency alerts, and reminders

  • CS2 Website with information accessible via password on any smartphone, tablet, or computer

  • Proactive outreach to identify and manage barriers to success

So, Now What?

HMSA is currently seeking postsecondary partners to pilot CS2. Institutions can define participation to include all students, first year students only, non-traditional students, remedial/probationary students, or returning students. Institutions are empowered to define participation levels that meet their unique financial and strategic goals. A detailed cost proposal, projected savings target, and return on investment projections are available upon request.

For more information contact:

Amy Mansour – Business Development Executive

(313) 964-3100 Ext. 8710

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