Beacon Health Options to Provide University Students with Access to Therapy in Order to Address On-Campus Behavioral Health Services Shortage

Beacon Wellbeing: Student Assistance Program is a first-of-its-kind behavioral health service that makes telehealth and online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy apps available to students with anxiety, depression and stress

BOSTON – April 25, 2019 – According to Pew Research, more than 70 percent of teens feel anxiety and depression are problems among their peers. In response, Beacon Health Options (Beacon), a leading behavioral health services company, announced its latest service offering, Beacon Wellbeing: Student Assistance Program, an integration of online behavioral health services and in-person therapy specifically for college students. Beacon is the first behavioral health company to create a comprehensive solution for students at 2- and 4-year colleges and universities, where the demand for counseling has increased dramatically in recent years. Beacon Student Assistance Program will compliment on-campus counseling services.

Beacon Wellbeing: Student Assistance Program will provide convenient access to behavioral health services, such as telehealth therapy and online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), an evidence-based form of therapy that treats root emotional causes of harmful behavior and teaches rational decision-making about healthy behavior, to address the growing incidence of student behavioral health challenges like major depressive disorder and general anxiety disorder. The Pew study also suggests that mental health concerns are roughly the same across gender, racial and socio-economic lines, with equal numbers of teens across demographic groups saying it is a significant issue.

To meet this rising demand for services, Beacon Wellbeing: Student  Assistance Program offers educational content, self-help tools, crisis support, and in-person as well as virtual visits with highly trained clinicians nationwide. Therapy sessions are held over secure telehealth platforms that students can access both on and off-campus at times that are most convenient for their busy schedules. A 24/7 crisis hotline provides triage services and connects students in crisis to real-time care, in coordination with campus emergency protocols.

“The need for mental health services on college campuses has increased in recent years, and colleges are struggling to keep up,” said Russell C. Petrella, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, Beacon Health Options. “Students have more pressure on them now than they did even 10 years ago. The behavioral health community must put a greater focus on young people and continue evolving services for them, and how they access care, in order to create safe and healthy college environments across the country.”

Between 2010 and 2015, the use of college counseling centers increased by 30%, yet enrollment increased by only 5%. As colleges adjust to the increased demand, some students find themselves waiting up to six weeks for one therapy session. Beacon Wellbeing: Student Assistance Program will help colleges catch up by building out more robust systems of care that address students’ needs in a timely and effective manner.

Dr. Petrella added, “By supplementing on-campus behavioral health care services with Beacon Wellbeing: Student Assistance Program, we can increase student engagement with providers and therapists and reduce the number of students who find themselves in serious crisis. We’re improving the overall wellbeing of students so they can remain at school and participate fully in classes and social activities.”

For more information about Beacon Health Options and Beacon Wellbeing: Student Assistance Program, please visit

About Beacon Health Options

Beacon Health Options is a leading behavioral health services company that serves 40 million individuals across all 50 states. We work with employers, health plans and government agencies to provide robust mental health and addiction services through innovative programs and solutions that improve the health and wellness of people every day. Beacon is a national leader in the fields of mental and emotional wellbeing, addiction, recovery, and employee health. Collaborating with a network of providers in communities around the country, we help individuals live their lives to the fullest potential. For more information, visit and connect with us on, and