From day one of the pandemic, Wittenberg made mental health a priority. Now the University has made an even bigger investment in the area, directing CARES Act funding to purchase subscriptions for all students, faculty, and staff to two leading mental health apps, Headspace and Talkspace.
“We want everyone to perform at their best at Wittenberg, and we are confident that this investment, at no cost to our community members, can help us accomplish that goal during the pandemic and beyond,” said Casey Gill, vice president for student development and dean of students.
With millions of users in 190 countries, Headspace is an award-winning mindfulness and sleep application that offers 1,000-plus hours of content designed to help manage stress, fall asleep, exercise mindfully, remain focused, and more. Officially launched in 2010, the platform specifically uses guided meditations, animations, articles and videos, and mini workouts to ease stress and anxiety in hopes of improving health and happiness around the world.
"I use Headspace daily to mediate in the morning, listen to ‘music to focus’ in my office, relax at the end of a busy day, and assist with sleep at night,” said Matthew G. West, director of student counseling at Wittenberg. “There are a variety of menu items in the app that can help increase both mental and physical wellness for students, faculty and staff. I encourage everyone on campus to log into their free Wittenberg account today and see how Headspace can help you relax more in 2021."
Talkspace, a 24/7 confidential online therapy platform, is currently the No. 1-rated online therapy app with more than 1 million users. Once enrolled, users have access to therapists representing a broad range of mental health services. Personalized care is also provided through evaluations, management suggestions, goal setting, and medication, if necessary through licensed therapists to battle depression, anxiety and stress, relationship problems, trauma and grief, and anger and sleep issues. Safe and secure, Talkspace also allows users to exchange daily messages, schedule video sessions, and monitor progress.
"During this difficult time we all could use someone to talk to and get support,” West said. “Talkspace is a convenient, private, and timely mental health platform to get feedback and guidance for a variety of issues such as anxiety, academic stress, sports performance, loneliness, relationship issues, and depression. I encourage everyone to take advantage of this free service over the next year."
Less than a week after announcing the availability of these apps, more than 200 students have signed up.
“With all the mental health challenges in our country, Wittenberg is not immune,” Gill said. “The level of engagement with the two apps and the feedback received so far confirm that we continue to contribute to our community’s personal and mental health needs, and we are grateful that we were able to direct CARES Act funding to this effort.”
Instructions for downloading the apps were communicated to campus through the Offices of Student Development and Human Resources. Additional wellness and counseling resources are also available on the University’s website at www.wittenberg.edu/wellness.