Kent State implemented a mental health resource tab on Flashline to make it easier for students to find resources available on campus that aim to improve their mental health.
Melissa Celko, director of Kent State of Wellness, spearheaded the creation of this tab, alongside teams from Kent State of Wellness, University Health Services and Psychological Services.
“The main goal is to make sure that those students who are in need at the moment can, through one or two clicks, actually access that information directly,” Celko said. “It [provides] the most critical contact information.”
Research for this tab began over a year ago, when the Jed Foundation
recommended it to Kent State. The Jed Foundation is a national organization that helps universities, colleges and community schools “strengthen their mental health, substance misuse and suicide prevention programs and systems,” according to the foundation’s website.
The Jed Foundation reviewed all of the mental health resources on Kent State’s campus and provided feedback on how the university is doing and ways it can improve.
“One of the ‘action items’ was that although we did have all the mental health resources listed on the website, it was difficult for students to find,” Celko said. “So, after discussion with University Communications and Marketing and Information Technology, we made the decision to put it on Flashline, because that’s where the majority of students spend their time.”
Emily Ribnik, a licensed professional clinical counselor at Kent State Stark, also contributed to the discussion of the new tab and its location.
“Part of the reason to have everything in one place, and in an avenue that students were familiar with, was so that it wasn’t a new thing to go to when you need help,” Ribnik said. “Because in those moments when you need help, it can be harder to navigate (unfamiliar) websites. Whereas if it’s placed on something you’re already familiar with, it’s easier to get the information you need in that moment.”
Kent State students from any branch can access the mental health resource tab in their Flashline account.
From your homescreen, scroll over the “students” button and under the “resources” section users will find the “mental health resources” tab. Click this and it will take you to the information and resources users need.
The tab provides a link to Kent State’s “Step Up, Speak Out”
website, seperate links to each tab from the Step Up and Speak Out website, the 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number and the 24-hour Crisis Text Hotline. Users can also find a link to download the Step Up and Speak Out app to their device.
“We’re open to making changes and know that we probably will enrich the resources and the information that’s available,” Celko said. “But we also want to make sure that it stays really targeted for someone who might be in immediate need, to make it as simple and easy for them as possible.”
Many people experience some sort of mental health struggle in their lives, especially during their time in college. According to a World Health Organization survey led by Randy P. Auerbach,
35 percent of the nearly 14,000 first-year college students surveyed reported struggling with mental illness.
“We’re all excited to see stuff like this happening to make sure that students have the information they need at their fingertips when they need it,” Ribnik said. “It’s a positive message to students that we are thinking about your mental health and wellness.”
Contact Becca Sagaris at [email protected]