Partnership with Uwill addresses growing demand for mental health services on campus with immediate access to 24/7 teletherapy
To meet an increasing demand for mental health services on campus, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has partnered with college mental health provider Uwill to make 24/7 teletherapy immediately accessible to students.
Uwill — which provides teletherapy services to colleges around the globe including the American Public University System, University of Maryland, Stevens Institute of Technology and others — uses proprietary technology to match students with licensed counselors on its platform, immediately connecting them based on student preferences using all modalities of teletherapy (video, phone, chat and text message), with 24/7 emergency access, group sessions, live events and more.
UNC Chapel Hill announced the partnership in November following on-campus protests from students, who complained of long wait lists and limited capabilities at UNC’s Counseling and Psychological Services office, according to reports in the campus newspaper. Students began asking for immediate improvements in late October after several student suicides underscored the need for more access to mental health services, protest organizers said.
Nationally, researchers and health experts continue to raise alarms about student mental health. A study published by the National Institutes of Health in late 2020 reported that the COVID-19 pandemic was bringing into renewed focus a rise in anxiety and depression among college students, with 71% of students surveyed describing increased levels of stress, anxiety, and depressive thoughts.
As the pandemic dragged on into 2021, those numbers grew more dire: according to an April 2021 survey by BestColleges.com, 95% of college students have experienced negative mental health symptoms as a result of COVID-19-related circumstances, and almost half of students surveyed believe the mental health effects have negatively affected their education.
Suicide was already considered the No. 2 leading cause of death among people ages 10–34 before the pandemic, reported the National Institute of Mental Health; the pandemic has made student mental health an even more urgent need.
“The past eighteen months have exacerbated a mental health crisis that was already one of the greatest challenges facing institutions and their students,” Uwill CEO Michael London said in a news release. “By expanding mental health and therapy options for students, UNC Chapel Hill is reinforcing its commitment to ensuring that the entire campus community is able to receive the help they need, when they need it.”
About the Author
Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can be reached at [email protected].
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UNC Chapel Hill Expands Mental Health Services, Offers Virtual Counseling for Students – Campus Technology