Student Body President Lexi Soto hints toward new mental health app

Lexi Soto and the UVU Student Association are moving forward with plans to renovate the UVU Student app with mental health in mind. Although the app is still in its infancy, keep your eyes open! Big changes are coming soon.

The UVU Student app may be experiencing big changes soon. Graphic by Kennedy Dalsing.

Student Body President Lexi Soto and the UVU Student Association (UVUSA) are moving forward with plans to renovate the UVU Student app with mental health in mind. 

The renovation, featuring in-app resources designed to promote student crisis mitigation, could see inaugural appearances sometime in the near future.

“Every time I have talked to students [about counseling services] it is always followed with, ‘I can’t get in for another six months,’” Soto explained. “[Mental Health Services] are very high-demand and very needed.” 

A mental health app may be instrumental in solving this problem as well as making student resources more accessible off-campus. For Soto, this idea is a main initiative and was even part of her platform last year. 

Despite the desire for this app to be completed soon, it is still in early development and many options are being considered. Although renovating the existing Student app, as Soto has said, is her favorite of the three proposed options, she explained that it has been a back-and-forth discussion among student affairs and leadership committees and that other options “are still on the table.” 

According to Soto, the “three options that [have been considered] are: 1. Finding a free app that was already available and could be promoted to students; 2. The development of UVU’s own mental health app; or 3. Renovating the current UVU app.” 

It seems that many people favor the third option because, “[there was a] big update [in the UVU Student app] where they promote all of the events happening on campus, whether it’s athletics, the arts, student leadership involvement, etc. It is becoming a centralized information [system],” Soto stated. 

“Talking with President Tuminez, she wants any and all ideas on the app, and all efforts put towards that,” Soto expressed.

The content that will be included in this new resource is still being decided, however, Soto mentioned some possibilities. She explained that for her, the committee discussion about the second option (developing UVU’s own mental health app) “came down to a daily check-in aspect, journaling, and [possibly] having cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) [options].

“CBT places an emphasis on helping individuals learn to be their own therapists,” states the American Psychiatric Association. “In many studies, CBT has been demonstrated to be as effective as, or more effective than, other forms of psychological therapy or psychiatric medications.” For these reasons and others, Soto labeled CBT accessibility as an important factor in the app decision.

Although the app is still in its infancy, and no final decision has been made regarding which of the three options will be used, changes are coming soon. 

It is important to understand that although some health services are extremely busy as reported by students, Ammon Cheney, Outreach Coordinator of UVU Student Health Services has stated, “It is safe to say we never turn down students.” If you are in need of help, especially emergency counseling, space can always be made, and you are always encouraged to seek help when you need it.

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