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FIU CAPS partners with Togetherall to give students more mental health support

by Monica Smith

May 06, 2022, 9:00 AM.

Current students can access the platform to receive 24/7 support from fellow students and licensed clinicians.

Just in time for Mental Health Awareness month, FIU Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) announced its partnership with Togetherall, a social media platform available to more than 2.5 million students worldwide.

Described as “a safe, online community to share feelings anonymously and get support to improve mental health and well-being,” students who log on to Togetherall’s platform with their student credentials will find a community of people ready to support each other, 24/7, 365 days a year.

Anytime, anywhere

“Togetherall is a natural addition to the spectrum of services CAPS offers because it adds 24/7 mental health support for the entire university,” says Dr. Todd Lengnick, director of CAPS.

While all interactions are anonymous, licensed mental health practitioners help monitor the site to provide an extra layer of empowerment and inclusivity to students.

FIU mental health counseling through CAPS provides both online and face-to-face students with a variety of online workshops and tools to help students facilitate and enhance their personal learning, emotional well-being and academic skills development. The addition of Togetherall will increase connections for FIU students so they may receive anonymous support from other students who understand the obligations and stressors of student life.

Several functions available

“As soon as students sign up with their FIU email address, they can start connecting with their peers, right from their phones, anonymously and with the support of licensed clinicians. Even if it’s 2 a.m. on a Saturday, students can connect and get the help they need,” explains Lengnick.

Within the platform, students can use the journal function, which is completely private, and they can take advantage of self-help courses as well as a “goal setting” function to help keep on track. Topics for discussion include addictions, sleep, anger, lifestyle, phobias, stress, and managing OCD.

College students and mental health statistics

Recent reports indicate that college students are feeling an additional strain on their mental health in the wake of the pandemic. A full two-thirds of students feel the effects of declining mental health on campuses nationwide. Even more alarming, a survey co-sponsored by Kaplan, Inside Higher Ed and College Pulse found that one in five students has struggled with suicidal ideation. “Loneliness” was the largest area of need compared to previous years.

According to Togetherall’s data, nearly 80 percent of those surveyed indicated that their main reason for joining was feelings of depression, and 70 percent cited feelings of anxiety.

College mental health organizations

More than one-third of users reported that Togetherall is the only mental health support they are using, including getting support from loved ones. Survey data also reflected the diversity of students using Togetherall, with 46 percent identifying as BIPOC and five percent identifying as transgender or non-binary.

“All too many counseling centers—and not just on college and university campuses—are finding themselves between a rock and a hard place: Wanting to help people through their heightened anxiety, isolation, stress and depression but simply not having the bandwidth to meet the demand,” offers Matthew McEvoy, senior vice president and general manager of Togetherall in North America. “As a peer-to-peer community that operates 24/7, Togetherall is able to provide mental health support for as many individuals who need it. Furthermore, it’s amazing the personal growth that can occur when our members realize the power of shared experiences.”

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