Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the average college student had to balance academics, social life, work, and extracurriculars. Many were experiencing living away from home for the first time. Traditional social pressures that a college student would typically face were exacerbated by the nonstop and pervasive nature of social media. On top of that, many students had to navigate this complicated new terrain with enormous student loan debt looming over their heads.
Before the pandemic, one in five college students worldwide reported experiencing one or more diagnosable mental disorders. Before the pandemic, one in three U.S. college counseling centers had a waiting list for student appointments, with wait times often stretching to two weeks or longer. Before the pandemic, a significant portion of students who reported that they needed mental health support never actually sought it.
As a result of the pandemic, the pre-existing mental health struggles faced by college students are intensified as all students face new obstacles of all sizes. Institutions have been forced to move the entire campus experience onto the internet for the foreseeable future. This transition has forced students to quickly adapt to a new normal that involves remote learning, maintaining and developing social relationships virtually, and a newly uncertain job market at the “finish line.” Beyond these obvious hurdles, and largely as a result of them, the extent of the impact that this paradigm shift is having on the mental health of college students is immeasurable, especially as it relates to anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders.
It is more important than ever to make quality mental health support accessible to college students.
Counslr was founded in July 2019 by an interdisciplinary group of people who share a strong interest and concern regarding mental health. Individually, we are parents of college students, recent college graduates, and mental health advocates. Professionally, we are techies, mental health professionals, and university administrators. Together, we’re a mission-driven team determined to bring forth change in the delivery of mental health services on an institutional level.
Counslr partners with colleges and universities to complement existing campus counseling services by providing students access to 24/7 text-based mental health counseling with licensed professionals, on-demand or by scheduled appointment.
Since communicating through text message is second nature to the average college student, it isn’t surprising to see data supporting Text-Based Online Counseling (TBOC) and its effectiveness as a means of reaching and engaging college students who had never previously received mental health support from their school.
We look forward to supporting student mental health nationally, and we’re excited to use this blog to provide updates during every step of the journey. If you are a university administrator looking for creative ways to support your student’s mental health remotely going forward, get in touch! If you are a licensed mental health professional looking for meaningful, part-time, flexible remote work, let’s chat! If you are a parent or student and you think that you or your child would benefit from having access to Counslr, reach out!
Whether it‘s a stressful evening in the library during finals week, an early morning before a double shift at work, or a Sunday afternoon at home after a roommate dispute, students can rely on Counslr and know that top quality mental health support is just a tap away.