Aggies can now access immediate mental health support through the My Student Support Program, an app that can connect students to virtual counseling services and a resource library at no cost.
The new partnership with My Student Support Program (MY SSP) this semester augments the services offered by Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) at Texas A&M University. The program will make mental health resources available to all students 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as demand for counseling services increases.
“It’s been a really big platform that we’ve been able to tap into,” said Mary Ann Covey, licensed psychologist and director of CAPS. Through MY SSP, students are connected to licensed psychologists, counselors, and social workers located throughout Texas. Appointments can range from short live chats and phone calls to crisis counseling, she said. Students can speak with the same counselor multiple times through confidential phone or video appointments, and all communications are confidential.
With over 72,000 students at Texas A&M, MY SSP will help CAPS provide quality treatment to as many Aggies as possible. The spring semester began Jan. 18 and demand for services is high, Covey said, with many students facing worry and anxiety as they return to in-person classes amid the coronavirus pandemic. ongoing coronavirus.
Nearly 200 people had requested appointments at CAPS on Thursday, the third day of the new school year. At the end of the week, Covey said she expects the total to be more than five times the demand seen at the start of the spring semester in 2018. This semester, 59 students registered for services during the first week of class.
People are reacting in different ways to the latest stage of the pandemic, which makes it difficult for students to process their feelings, Covey said. There are those who are more concerned that courses will move online and lack a sense of structure and connectivity across organizations and events. Then there are the students who feel tired and apathetic about wearing masks and other safety protocols.
“They’re like, ‘I’m so over this,'” she said. ?’ and it’s really difficult when they have such different experiences.
Covey said she hopes the partnership with My SSP will enable more Texas A&M students to become “empowered in mental health care.”
That means taking a preventative approach to managing mental health, she said, learning to prioritize mindfulness and deal with anxiety and other issues before they become a bigger problem.
Through the app, students have access to an extensive library of videos, articles, podcasts, and other content related to mental health and wellness. Anonymous ratings for depression, general anxiety, and alcohol and drug use are also available.
“It really tries to connect people to resources, to help them start investing in life changes and teaching themselves things to improve their mental health. These are things that we really want our students to understand,” Covey said.
My SSP can be downloaded via the App Store or Google Play. Visit the app’s website for more information.