These 2 edtech companies are dominating the digital mental health space

Uwill and TimelyCare's combined reach spans about 5 million students, faculty and staff nationwide, comprising a third of all undergraduate students enrolled in 2021.

As colleges and universities sharpen their academic program offerings and their relevancy to employment opportunities for a more skeptical cohort of students, higher education is simultaneously grappling with an entirely new animal. Mental health support is an expectation for today’s first-year students, but colleges have struggled to keep up with demand. As a result, edtech companies that’ve risen to the occasion to provide telehealth solutions have grown at a meteoric pace.

Through a series of partnerships, acquisitions and promising capital growth, two organizations are emerging as the clear-cut favorites to provide telehealth solutions across college campuses nationwide: TimelyCare and Uwill.

Over the holidays, Uwill worked out its first acquisition of another mental health and wellness provider, Christie Campus Health, gaining 750,000 students from over 100 colleges, according to a press release from Uwill. The acquisition provides the edtech health provider a deeper presence in the southeast now that they serve the University of Georgia system.

Last year in May, it secured a partnership to provide free mental health support for all New Jersey’s higher education institutions; 96% elected to participate, including Rutgers and Princeton, Forbes reports.

TimelyCare is no stranger to university system partnerships, adding over 130 new customers last year. Among them were system-wide partnerships with The University of Texas, Indiana University and an agreement with the Sun Belt Conference to support its student athletes. As of December, one in 10 U.S. college students have access to 24/7 Timely Care support.

In total, Uwill and TimelyCare’s student, faculty and staff reach spans about 5 million nationwide. That’s about a third of undergraduate enrollment, according to 2021 data from the National Center for Education Statistics data, which placed the population at around 15 million.

“If there are 5,000 colleges, we would like to help every single one of those students,” says Michael London, Uwill CEO, and founder.

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Skyrocketing growth

Call it being in the right place at the right time. TimelyCare and Uwill owe their monumental upscaling to increased demand from colleges and universities for supplemental support assisting its post-pandemic students who are more vulnerable than ever. A Centers for Disease Control study found the highest rates of teenage girls feeling “persistently sad or hopeless” in over a decade. Moreover, an estimated 77 percent of college students struggle with their mental health, according to the American College Health Association.

Referred to as TimelyMD when it was founded in 2017, the company changed its name to TimelyCare last year to reflect its increased involvement across college campuses. Beginning with its telehealth service for students, it has since expanded to faculty and staff, providing mental health counseling, medical care, basic needs assistance, peer support, and self-guided wellness content.

“As we build upon this momentum and scale for sustainable growth, our commitment to delivering value and innovation remains unwavering,” said Luke Hejl, TimelyCare CEO and co-founder, in an email. “Our vision to help students be well and thrive resonates now more than ever.”

Uwill was founded in 2020 as a direct result of heightened student demand and has grown exponentially ever since. Last year, Uwill secured a $30 million investment from a private equity firm and earned a medal from The Global Business Tech Awards.

Why these edtech companies are so popular

London credits Uwill’s success to providing all of its services in-house without contracting third-party contractors, which helps streamline students into finding the right counselor with little wait time.

“It gives us a level of immediacy that you can never get elsewhere,” he says. “A person can have an appointment with a licensed therapist within five minutes.”

More than the quick response times TimelyCare and Uwill provide students, a must for today’s consumer, they also have high satisfaction rates. Among those who use TimelyCare services, 85% of community college students and 77% of bachelor’s students report being more likely to improve their grades and complete their studies with the help of TimelyCare.

Alcino Donadel
Alcino Donadel
Alcino Donadel is a UB staff writer and first-generation journalism graduate from the University of Florida. His beats have ranged from Gainesville's city development, music scene and regional little league sports divisions. He has triple citizenship from the U.S., Ecuador and Brazil.

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