NJ College Students Offered Free Mental Health Help

By: Morgan Reitzel, Follow South Jersey Intern

SOUTH JERSEY – At the ripe age of 18, most young adults move away from their parents and everything they have ever known to get an education. The stigma that surrounds college is that it’s a fun place to meet new people, party, and be independent. Yet, no one mentions the emotional mental toll that college takes on a young adult and how 19.9 million out of 20 million students reported to suffer from mental health issues. 

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced recently that 96% of N.J. college students will be able to receive 24/7 free mental health help to reduce the mental health crisis with a partnership with Uwill. 

This ground-breaking first of its kind in the U.S. partnership will hopefully improve the mental health of college students and save lives. 

Uwill partners with colleges around the world to assist campus counseling centers to help with the overwhelming student demand for mental health support helping more than 1.5 million students.  College campuses have long wait lists for students to see counselors, limited successions available, and are ultimately stretched too thin to be able to provide exceptional counseling services to students who desperately need them. 

Furthermore, Uwill offers students immediate access to licensed counseling services with no obstacles and offers teletherapy via video, message, chat, and phone. Additionally, they offer immediate crisis intervention, a slate of wellness activities, and yoga and mindfulness exercises. Usually, you can make a same day appointment and if a student is in a crisis, a connection is most likely going to be made in less than a minute. 

The cost of the program will not be put on the backs of taxpayers. The money to fund the Uwill project is coming from the top of the $16 million the Murphy administration set aside for the 2023 fiscal year and will not cost the colleges nor the students a cent. 

“A questionnaire conducted by the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education found more than 70% of New Jersey students rated their stress and anxiety levels as higher or much higher than the previous year, with 40% of students indicating they were concerned about their mental health in light of the pandemic,” according to their website.

According to a survey conducted by the American College Health Association, it has been reported that three out of five college students express that they have experienced “overwhelming” anxiety just in the past year and the most troubling fact is that suicide is the second-leading cause of death among college students. 

“With the challenges these past few years have presented, young people around New Jersey and the nation are facing a mental health crisis like never before,” Murphy said in a statement. “It is incumbent upon us to do everything in our power to provide young people with access to the support they need, which is something my Administration will continue to prioritize.”

“The governor’s office said 96% of eligible schools are participating in the telehealth program. They include: Atlantic Cape Community College, Bergen County Community College, Bloomfield College, Brookdale Community College, Caldwell University, Camden County College, Centenary University, County College of Morris, Drew University, Essex County College, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Felician University, Georgian Court University, Hudson County Community College, Kean University, Mercer County Community College, Middlesex College, Monmouth University, Montclair State University, New Jersey City University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Ocean County College, Passaic County Community College, Princeton University, Ramapo College, Raritan Valley Community College, Rider University, Rowan College at Burlington County, Rowan College of South Jersey, Rowan University, Rutgers University (Camden, Newark, New Brunswick), Saint Elizabeth University, Saint Peter’s University, Salem County Community College, Seton Hall University, Stevens Institute of Technology, Stockton University, Sussex County Community College, The College of New Jersey, Union College of Union County, New Jersey, Warren County Community College, and William Paterson University of New Jersey.”

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