University rolls out early warning to track mental health on campus – The Oberlin Review

The Counseling Center and Office of the Dean of Students have rolled out a wellness and support app called Early Alert. The service, which includes a weekly check-in, informs users of resources on Oberlin’s campus to aid in the general well-being of students.

“Early Alert is a once-a-week text message asking you to rate your wellbeing on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being really, really poor and 10 being excellent,” the wellness promotion manager said. being students, Monique Burgdorf. “At any time, a student can text a wellness bot the word ‘resources,’ and then get a list of Oberlin-specific referrals.”

The app is based on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Eight Dimensions of Wellbeing Framework: Emotional, Social, Spiritual, Occupational, Physical, Financial, Environmental, and Intellectual. Early Alert focuses on analyzing and verifying each category. Each week, a question is sent to an individual student user to verify one of the dimensions of well-being. The survey data is then transmitted anonymously to the Listening Center and the Center for Student Success. These data provide insight into the category in which students experience the most difficulty. The school will only get information about a student if they consistently report that they feel bad to the feel-good bot.

“It helps us know what students are reporting on to help us target those areas and plan programs in those areas so we can proactively reach out to a student for help,” said the executive director of Student Safety and Welfare, Andrew Oni. “It’s an extra layer of support that’s directly available to students.”

The overall goal of the app is to have real-time wellness checks and to be a resource for students waiting to receive therapy or counseling through the school. This is above all a preventive measure for students.

“If you contact us maybe once a week, what that does for us is [lets] lets us know in advance if someone needs help,” Oni said. “And if necessary, Monique Burgdorf reaches out to the student specifically to ask, ‘What can I do to support [you]? What do you need help with? Here is what we have on campus; any additional support you may need, let us know. And she does it very consistently.

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