LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 27, 2022) — For more than 70 years, May has marked Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States.
As the world begins to heal from the grim realities of living through a global pandemic, which brought prolonged isolation and new levels of anxiety, Mental Health Awareness Month has a new level of importance.
Recognized as a time to spread awareness on mental health issues, reduce the stigma, and provide support, education and advocacy for people struggling with mental health issues, May at the University of Kentucky is a time of reflection and action.
According to a new national survey, the effects of the pandemic have fallen particularly hard on young people. Since 2020, anxiety and depression amongst college students is on the rise, with 47% of students screening positive for depression or anxiety, or both, and 66% of college students indicating feelings of isolation.
The University of Kentucky understands the importance of its student's mental health and works toward establishing foundational and proactive mental health and well-being initiatives. With these statistics in mind, the university is introducing five new mental health apps to the campus community.
Those apps include:
- Togetherall is a safe, online community to share feelings anonymously and get support to improve mental health and well-being. In the community, people support each other, safely monitored by licensed and registered mental health practitioners.
- To access the app, go to www.togetherall.com, click on “I’m from a college or university” and enter their academic email address to register.
- Headspace is your guide to practicing mindfulness in your everyday life. Create a calm and positive environment with Headspace. Learn how to relax, manage stress and focus your energy to become more centered and well rested.
- Kognito is a 45-minute web-based training simulation to train students, faculty and staff in recognizing signs of mental health issues, distress and suicide, as well as how to communicate with and refer at-risk students.
- This app can be accessed through Canvas.
- TAO includes over 150 brief, effective, educational sessions covering over 50 common topics and skills related to mental health, wellness and substance use issues. TAO Includes interactive sessions, mindfulness exercises and practice tools all aimed at helping you achieve your goals.
- To register for TAO for self-help, visit https://us.taoconnect.org/register. Once here, enter your name and your UKY email address. Once your account has been established, login at https://us.taoconnect.org.
- WellTrack is designed to help you understand your mental health and to provide you with the help that you need right now. WellTrack is a suite of online tools and courses that uses aspects of cognitive behavioral therapy to help you identify, understand and address issues that you are having.
"Our hope with these apps is that we put mental health resources, quite literally, in the palms of students for them to use them when the need arises,” said Corrine Williams, acting associate vice president for student wellbeing at UK. “We understand that there are a variety of barriers to accessing mental health resources for our students and these new partnerships are aimed at decreasing those obstacles and increasing student well-being."
In addition to apps, the university offers a number of mental resources through the UK Counseling Center (UKCC). Housed in the Office for Student Success, the UKCC offers groups, workshops and short-term counseling to support students' growth and assist students with mental health, academic and/or other personal concerns that might interfere with academic performance or a sense of personal well-being while at UK.
As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.
In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.