UTSU & LinkMentalHealth
University of Toronto Students’ Union
12 Hart House Circle
Toronto, ON, M5S 3J9
UTSU & LinkMentalHealth
November 28, 2018
RE: LinkMentalHealth and UTSU’s Strategic Partnership
LinkMentalHealth and the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) announce their strategic partnership to connect students to diverse in-person therapy options.
Over 50, 000 students at U of T will now have direct access to affordable and practical mental health solutions in their area, often covered in full by their UTSU health coverage.
Students can now see the coverage they receive through their UTSU health insurance plan on the LinkMe platform. Many have successfully used the platform to find a therapist they need, with this strategic partnership serving to help inform students about LinkMe and available therapists in the Toronto and Mississauga areas.
LinkMe fills an existing gap in mental health services, helping people find therapists based on factors that are often ignored: ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and speciality. The platform also works with therapists to ensure that an individual can schedule an appointment without having to worry about months of wait times.
The UTSU health plan currently covers up to $2500 in mental health insurance (covering up to $125 per session for up to 20 sessions per policy year)* — coverage that is already among the best in the country. Through this partnership with LinkMentalHealth, the UTSU continues to showcase its commitment to the well-being and mental health of students. As such, incorporating the need for diverse therapists with little to no wait times is an exciting addition to the services the UTSU offers to students.
“It’s a near superhuman feat to expect a student who’s dealing with something to be able to understand the intricacies of the complex health system. It’s why we created this platform — to make it easier to find the right help and schedule appointments, especially for those from diverse and under-represented communities”, says Radwan Al-Nachawati, Co-Founder of LinkMentalHealth
“Far too many students see therapy as unattainable, and it’s time we work harder to change that. By partnering with LinkMentalHealth, we hope to show our diverse population of students how easy it can be for each one of them not only to find therapists in the GTA, but also to find therapists with whom they can truly connect,” says Yasmine El Sanyoura, Vice-President, Professional Faculties of the University of Toronto Students’ Union.
Finding help should not be the hardest part of mental health.
LinkMentalHealth is an online platform that connects people to mental health services regardless of what they can afford. Currently based in Mississauga Ontario, the platform has connected individuals to private and public services that best fit their needs and situation. The platform asks users questions about the type of therapist they’re looking for based on outcome-based indicators such as ethnicity, sexual orientation and specializations. With only 13% of Canadians reporting to know their insurance coverage “really well” and 80% of post-secondary students surveyed in the GTA unaware of their insurance coverage, the platform provides a necessary and personal educational component. Part of the platform’s goals is to optimize the resources available so that those with insurance coverage free up space in free and government-funded programs.
For more information about LinkMentalHealth, please contact Radwan Al-Nachawati at:
About the University of Toronto Students’ Union:
Founded in 1901, the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) is the official student government of more than 50,000 students at the University of Toronto. If you’re a full-time undergraduate student at the St. George Campus or the Mississauga Campus (as of 2018), you’re automatically a member of the UTSU. As a student government, we operate independently of the University and strive to be a democratic, member-driven organization.
The UTSU has two essential functions: 1) advocacy and 2) service provision. Our advocacy work includes lobbying the government and the university administration, organizing public education campaigns, and supporting student initiatives. Our services include grants for students in need, funding for student clubs, and the student health insurance plan. Finally, all of our work is guided by a commitment to equity.
For more information about the UTSU, please contact the UTSU Executives at:
*These numbers reflect the 2018-2019 UTSU health plan, in which full-time undergraduate students at U of T St. George and U of T Mississauga are automatically enrolled upon registering for the 2018-2019 academic term. These numbers are subject to change in future years. Please note you may be required to pay out-of-pocket for therapy and must file a claim to get reimbursed. For more information on coverage and how to claim, please visit utsu.ca/health.