Launching July 1, 2009, a new program aimed at assisting students in U.S. colleges and universities will be available through AffinityCare, Inc. The program consists of a wide range of prepaid services including relationship, emotional wellness, financial, and legal consultation.
As a population, college students report that when they become stressed or feel anxious, depressed, and even homesick, their academic performance is negatively impacted. According to the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment in Fall 2008, approximately 47% of students surveyed felt hopeless at one or more times during the prior school year and about 30% of the surveyed students felt depressed to the point of not functioning.
The purpose of the AffinityCare Student Assistance Program (ASAP) is to help college students work through the issues that can cause undue stress or depression so that they can be more successful in their studies and personal life. The service includes a confidential 24 hour/7-days a week helpline, unlimited direct phone consultation and assessment with Masters-level counselors, face-to-face consultation, and extensive online resources and educational materials. The program can be purchased for a low monthly flat rate directly through the ASAP website, www.studentassistanceplan.com/signup.php.
The concept of an assistance program is not new. Many businesses have been providing this type of support to their employees since the 1940s when R.M. Macy and Co. and the Northern State Power Company began providing this service to employees. The goal was to help employees with personal issues so that they could maintain high attendance and work performance.
“Expanding the assistance program concept to support students and their parents was a natural development for our company as we had already been offering these types of services to employer groups and insurance organizations for many years. As the father of a college age student, I became aware of the need to provide an additional level of support to students. Most educational institutions provide on-campus support services for students. The reality is that many students are just not comfortable scheduling an appointment on campus, but would be more comfortable calling a professional from the privacy of their dorm room whenever they need to talk. We see our program as an additional safety net supporting students and parents as they go through these tumultuous transitional years,” states Ken Larsen, AffinityCare, Inc. President.
For more information, visit their website at www.studentassistanceplan.com