Free, unlimited mental health counseling comes to RU with Uwill

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The graphic and QR code were provided by Uwill and were combined by The Whit. - Photo via Uwill

Mental health is one of the most important things to a college student, as it has the potential to affect grades, relationships, and one’s emotional well-being. This past July, Rowan along with 44 New Jersey colleges began their partnership with Uwill Student Mental Health and Wellness, as a result of a statewide partnership.

Uwill is a 24/7, completely free telehealth mental health service that is now available to all students who attend Rowan University. This was made possible with the help of New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Secretary of Higher Education Brian Bridges, who partnered with Uwill to fund the service with $10 million in American Rescue Plan funds from the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education which makes it available and accessible not only for Rowan, but for a total of 44 colleges statewide. The partnership began on July 3 of this year and allows students to use Uwill’s services free of charge.

Uwill has over 1,000 counselors nationwide with different ethnicities, backgrounds, and identities to meet the needs of each individual student. Students can receive counseling, but Uwill also has mindfulness exercises, yoga, and workshops available as a complement to the counseling as well. 

Before creating Uwill, CEO and Founder Michael London worked in educational technology to create Examity, an online system to prevent cheating on online tests. That service was able to virtually connect students with proctors, which led London to begin problem-solving another issue in colleges, student mental health. 

“Prior to starting, you know, I had a lot of good relationships with colleges and they told me point blank, that this was basically one of the areas that is of paramount importance to them and they needed to find a way to figure it out,” said London. 

So, Uwill was designed to connect students with therapists who match their unique needs, backgrounds and identities. Rowan University has chosen to offer students unlimited sessions with Uwill, meaning that students are able to get as much help as they need.

“At the end of the day, it’s about accessibility and so if somebody’s primary language is Spanish or if someone’s primary language is Tagalog, right, we want you to be able to still get therapy,” said Revae Burton, the Outreach Coordinator at the Wellness Center.

Access to mental health services has been a topic of conversation on Rowan’s campus for years. After facing several student suicides and mental health protests in the fall of 2021 students have been vocal about the growing need for access to mental health services.

The Wellness Center offers a plethora of services on campus like counseling and therapy, but due to the volume of students compared to the amount of staff, this partnership is designed as a way to complement their services and accommodate a larger number of students. 

While their services are still available to Rowan students, Uwill is an additional option for students who may want immediate assistance and mental health services, but are not necessarily in a mental health crisis or emergency. It aids in stress or anxiety that may arise from societal mental health stigmas that some may have walking into an appointment.

“I think that the more we can make mental health things accessible, the better. And I think with us adding Uwill– it makes mental health accessible… Sometimes people will feel like if I come into the Wellness Center, people are kind of looking like, ‘Why are you going to the wellness center?’, or there’s that stigma kind of thing to it but this is something that you can go onto the website, do your profile, no one needs to know when it’s happening.” said Burton.

Due to the large conversation surrounding mental health, students on campus seem to be open-minded about this new opportunity for people who need it. 

“I think it’s probably something a lot of college students specifically need. It’s just a really great resource to have because it seems like a lot of people are afraid to reach out for help if they need it,” said Edward Valderrama, a freshman double majoring in Radio, TV, Film, and Writing Arts. 

Not only does having access to services help students who are in need, but it ultimately helps faculty, administrators, and student performance as well.

“I think essentially, we’re helping students to get better grades, we’re helping them to finish courses, we’re helping them to stay in school, because, you know, one of the main reasons people don’t finish school is because they suffer and so we’re able to fix that at some level,” said London. 

To sign up for an appointment, students can use the registration link that can be found on The Wellness Center’s website or the Uwill website. From there students can click register and fill out their information with their school email and be matched with a counselor. 

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