The Shrink Space for Universities

Who we are

The Shrink Space is a HIPAA-compliant referral service for university counseling centers (UCCs), private providers who specialize in college mental health (private therapists), and college students (students). Aimed to help students access off-campus referrals, our website eliminates the friction points that typically prevent a student from accessing treatment. Our website aggregates real-time information about a private therapist’s practice, including payment and insurance preferences, location, and availability among other information in a searchable online database that allows UCCs and students to seamlessly search for, connect with, and schedule appointments with private therapists.

The Problem

Counseling centers are long steeped in a tradition of supporting the developmental and mental health needs of students who request for care. Over the last 5 years, there has been a 30-40% rise in the utilization of counseling centers challenging their ability to adequately follow through on this tradition. Counseling centers are now faced with the difficult question of how best to continue this university ethos with current resource limitations.

How we Address the Problem

The Shrink Space’s goal is to improve mental health care for college students nationwide while easing the administrative burden of UCCs and private therapists alike. The Shrink Space addresses the following barriers to mental health care:

Access & Availability

  1. The Shrink Space is a mobile optimized, intuitive website with a robust college referral list that empowers students to take more control over their treatment by helping them navigate the opaque off-campus referral process. Using our helpful FAQ guide, students can search and filter through our database of private therapists.
  2. Our website contains accurate information on each private therapist’s profile so students can be certain that important criteria like insurances needs, availability, clinical specialties, and location are reliable and up to date.
  3. UCCs can search our database to suggest optimal referrals for their students. To tailor referrals, UCCs can access private notes from therapists that describe their level of comfort working with special populations (i.e., personality disorders, addictions, suicidality).

Affordability

  1. Private therapists label their availability as sliding scale, in-network insurance, and out-of-pocket, allowing for increased transparency of pricing to students.
  2. We work with universities to locate additional private therapists who accept in-network student insurance plans. We will be collaborating with group clinics that offer low fee and sliding scale options.

Administrative Burden

  1. Students use search criteria based on their specific mental health needs to establish effective therapeutic alliances with private therapists, which minimizes repeated requests for referrals and return crisis visits to the UCC.
  2. Our service regularly prompts private therapists to update their information and availability, which eliminates inappropriate requests for care, saving the therapist administrative time.