The University System of Georgia launched a program with the UWG Counseling Center called Wellbeing@UWG in February. This program is designed to help students have access to Counseling Center services straight from an app on their phone known as Campus Well where you can locate the UWG services from within the app.
“The Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia put together a mental health initiative,” said Dr. Lisa Adams, the Director of Counseling at the University of West Georgia. “The app has come out of this initiative, and this app is available for all 26 of the USG institutions, including West Georgia. Each one is a little different because every campus is a little different so it’s tailored for the particular student needs that we have here.”
This online platform gives many resources like access to counselors and interesting articles to offer guidance and advice about mental health. What is also really unique about Wellbeing@UWG is that it is an app which provides additional add-on services to what they already provide at the Counseling Center now.
“The app is going to give you links to different resources that are available on campus and off campus,” said Adams. “Students can still call the counseling center at (678)-839-6428, just after hours when they are in crisis they would press option two. That is typically the best way to get a counselor 24/7, 365, but we also now have Krispy Campus, which has expanded our services significantly, and you can meet with an off-campus counselor.
“For example, if we had a waiting list with counseling, students can go off campus and see somebody quicker, and they would have five sessions at no charge,” continued Adams. “Then there is the Wellness app which is full of all types of information and all kinds of techniques that students can use. It has a link to a program called I care, which deals with specific things. If a student has anxiety, there are modules that can help lessen your anxiety. We are trying to come at it from all angles as what we know as our traditional counseling center, there’s going out into the community, doing things online, some of it is just different information, so this app gives us a lot more options than we had before in ways that students can access mental health resources.”
After downloading and browsing the app, there are many articles for many different subjects. Some categories include campus, academics, body, food, mind, money and so many more. These articles are written by many different professionals in the psychology, counseling and mental health field.
“The articles are written by professionals like counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other wellness professions,” said Adams. “You will see that there are things in there about eating right and exercising so those would be written by exercising psychologists and nutritionists so people who are specialists in those fields.”
With such great articles and resources available to the students on this app, it is very beneficial to all students. The app allows for the Counseling Center to meet students where they are, especially during a time of social distancing, it is beneficial for students to receive the care and advice they need from the comfort of their home.
“This app expands the number of counselors we have for students, so that’s always a good thing,” said Adams. “There is also more readily available information through the app as well and being able to expand the services of the counseling center is a great thing as well.”