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Some universities in the United Kingdom have turned to mental health apps to address students’ mental health issues.
According to a recent study, around 20% of nearly 40,000 UK students suffer from mental health problems. Most of these students were diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorders.
Some universities are looking into increasing the number of counselors on campus, but insufficient funding hinders them from doing so. This has prompted some universities to rely on mental health apps. One of these institutions is Queen’s University, which offers a counseling app. The app gives users access to 24/7 counseling sessions with consultants and life coaches.
The use of apps has garnered positive feedback from some people. Amelia Trew, a student at the University of East Anglia (UEA), believes that the apps empower students to manage their well-being. UEA has various mental health apps that serve different purposes, like tracking moods or offering academic support.
Tim Rogers, a clinical director of an online mental health service, said that mental health apps are essential because not everyone who seeks help can be accommodated by existing mental health services. According to him, the number of qualified psychological specialists is not enough.
However, some are unconvinced about the effectiveness of mental health apps. One UEA student said that apps can’t address severe mental conditions because these cases require support beyond what technology can offer, including face-to-face counseling.
King’s College London Clinical Psychology Professor Til Wykes pointed out that many mental health apps have not been scientifically tested. She said that while apps can help monitor and treat mental health, they should not be used as an alternative to traditional counseling.