LOWELL – UMass Lowell has launched a new online program to support the mental health of its students.
Students can register for free with Togetherall, an online peer-to-peer community where users can anonymously share their thoughts 24/7, under the supervision of licensed mental health practitioners. The program is an extension of the university’s partnership with ProtoCall Services, which provides after-hours counseling center coverage.
“While we want to empathize with our students, we’ve never been in their shoes ourselves,” said Melissa Wall, director of the UMatter2 program, which is part of the school’s counseling services. “Our college experiences were not about wearing face masks, receiving regular nasal swabs and recording our symptoms daily – all in the name of preventing the transmission of a deadly virus. One of the great things about Togetherall is that it provides a safe space for people with shared experiences to connect with each other. Now more than ever, this community is vital. We don’t want a single student to feel alone.
UMass Lowell Counseling Services offers crisis intervention, assessments, referrals, group counseling, and short-term individual counselling. UMatter2 uses a preventative approach to address student mental well-being and reduce serious mental health issues, suicide, and substance abuse.
Founded in 2007, Togetherall is available to over 2.5 million students in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and New Zealand. A user survey last year showed nearly 50% joined because of the platform’s anonymity, while 40% said they liked its security and professional moderation. .
Three in four users said they were prompted to seek help for depression or low mood, and more than a third said Togetherall was the only mental health support they used.
“When you take a demographic already prone to anxiety, depression, and high stress, and lead them through an unprecedented global health crisis that completely upends their routines, it’s no surprise that those feelings are amplified,” said Matthew McEvoy, senior vice president and general manager of Togetherall in North America. “That said, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to student mental health issues, as not everyone feels comfortable talking to a counselor. For this reason, having peer-to-peer support resources is crucial, especially ones that allow users to connect with each other anonymously.
To access the service, go to togetherall.com and enter your academic email address to register.