Lake Superior State rolls out digital mental health platform for students

SAULT STE. MARIE–Lake Superior State University www.announced the launch of a new university-wide initiative designed to provide increased teletherapy and crisis support.

In collaboration with the Natick, Mass.-based student mental health and wellness service provider Uwill, the university will increase its existing counseling capabilities with the addition of teletherapy that matches students with a licensed therapist based on student needs and preferences. The partnership also provides students with crisis support in the event of a mental health crisis.

“Providing access to free, clinical mental health counseling and support has long been part of our commitment to student success, and this strategic investment in teletherapy will enable us to provide students high-quality care, treatment and support that meets their needs,” said Anya Alexander, associate dean of student affairs and executive director of campus life and engagement at Lake Superior State. “This is about supporting our student community and breaking down barriers to mental health resources and care that will enable our students to achieve their full personal and academic potential.”

The announcement of the new digital mental health and wellness initiative comes at a time when acute mental health challenges among college students and young adults are on the rise. Recent survey data shows that 90% of adults believe the country is facing a mental health crisis. While 42% of college students have expressed the need for help with mental health difficulties in the last year, more than 60% have never received counseling or therapy.

In response, a growing number of colleges and universities are prioritizing investments in teletherapy and other support solutions that augment the capacity of their existing on-campus counseling centers.

The new mental health initiative is aligned with the university’s focus on removing barriers to student persistence and completion, following the approval of a five-year strategic plan by the board of trustees. The plan focuses on improving first-year student retention by expanding support for students who are first-generation, Pell Grant-eligible, and from other underrepresented student demographics.

“There’s now a greater appreciation than ever before in higher education that student success and mental health and well-being are of paramount importance,” said Michael London, founder and CEO of Uwill. “This is about ensuring that students have access to support that meets their mental health and wellness needs.”

Using its proprietary technology and counselor team, Uwill pioneered the first student and therapist matching platform. The solution offers an immediate appointment with a licensed counselor based on student preferences, all modalities of teletherapy, a direct crisis connection, wellness events, real-time data, and support.

Lake Superior State was founded in 1946 on the site of the U.S. Army’s former Fort Brady. Today, it offers one graduate program, 35 bachelor’s degree programs, 21 associate degree programs, and 10 certificate programs. LSSU actively participates in collegiate sports, competing in 11 NCAA Division II sports and Division I for men’s hockey. The university has an undergraduate student body of approximately 1,600, with 82 percent hailing from Michigan, representing every county in the state.

Uwill partners with 300+ institutions including Baylor University, the University of Michigan, Columbus State Community College, and the University of Maryland, College Park. Uwill is also the teletherapy education partner for NASPA and the Online Learning Consortium. For more information, visit uwill.com.

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