UNM rolls out new app to help combat mental health issues

Education

A new app is making its way around the University of New Mexico campus just in time for finals week, but it’s not for gaming or socializing — it’s for mental health help.

“School can definitely get overwhelming at times, so it’s just finding time to de-stress and make time for yourself,” says Hyunju Blemel.

Blemel is a junior at UNM. Finding that free time to herself is easier said than done.

“I’m a full time student at UNM and I work part time on campus with student employment,” she says.

With finals week in full force, she says the pressure is on.

“So much depends on your performance during finals, it’s really easy to get caught up and forget about your mental health,” says Blemel.

That’s where “TAO” comes in to help.

“An online mental health platform that can help people who don’t come into counseling or don’t come into counseling,” says Stephanie McIver.

The Therapy Assistance Online tool is something McIver, UNM’s Clinical Psychologist, hopes can provide self help for issues like depression, stress and even chronic pain.

“They can access modules that teach them about each of those issues, and engage them in exercises to address those issues,” says McIver.

McIver says in the past few years, she’s noticed students struggling with their mental health a lot more.

Unfortunately, she says this is becoming a norm in colleges across the country.

“They’re not just students. They’re frequently caring for family members, or holding down jobs. I know students that have multiple jobs,” says McIver.

As a student, Blemel is planning on taking advantage of this new resource.

“It’s possible I would use it everyday if it’s really effective. Even just once a week or even during finals,” she says.

UNM is slowly rolling out the app right now. Anyone with a UNM email address can sign up for the app for free.

About 30 people are using the app at this moment. UNM hopes to have more feedback on it from students and staff after the holiday break.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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