Mywelltrack.com // Photo Courtesy
New app provides help for students with anxiety, depression
Ball State students now have access to WellTrack, a website and mobile app designed to help with stress, anxiety and depression.
Ellen Lucas, associate director of the Counseling Center, said the app was one of four that were tested and piloted, and 46 students have already registered to start using the WellTrack program on their phones.
After completing an initial wellness assessment, WellTrack recommends a course for the user to go through. Other features, such as a mood tracker and resources for coping, are also included in the app.
Click here to sign up for WellTrack. WellTrack is currently being used in 35 universities across North America.
In the past, students who were in crisis would be seen by a counselor the same day, but other non-crisis students would have to wait several days before being seen by a professional.
“[The Counseling Center] did see a need for [WellTrack]. We know that sometimes, students can’t get in as quickly as they’d like to,” Lucas said. “We wanted to have something to offer students rather than just saying ‘OK, we’re going to schedule your appointment for next week,’ but to say ‘in the meantime, here’s this tool that you can use right away,' and sometimes that’s all that students need, is this online tool.”
Lucas said stress, anxiety and depression are some of the top reasons students come to the Counseling Center throughout the school year. Now, students who complete WellTrack before their intake appointment can log on to WellTrack during their appointment and share the results with their counselor. If students wish to take the assessment on their own, results stay anonymous to counseling center staff and counselors can only see how many students used certain tools or features.
“Once they get into therapy with one of us, it can be used as an adjunct to therapy and kind of help things move along more quickly,” Lucas said. “That could be a jumping off point to talk about in our session and how that was for you, and what you learned from that and kind of maybe help bring some information to the session that is useful for you that we can continue to build on.”
Lucas recommends students start using WellTrack before they come to the counseling center, but any Ball State student has access to it.
“We wanted something that students could use whether they’re a client of ours or not, and so we really wanted something that was very user-friendly that we could let any kind of Ball State student use,” Lucas said. “It might be a situation where it heads off problems before they even get to the level that they maybe think about coming in for counseling.”
Senior psychology major Mikaela Pieri thinks WellTrack will have positive benefits for students. She knows people who struggle with anxiety and depression but did not want to or couldn’t attend traditional counseling sessions for a variety of reasons.
“So often mental health problems are so stigmatized by society that individuals become reluctant to seek help,” Pieri said. "Additionally, many who come to the counseling center either can't afford help or find that they aren't able to get as many sessions as they need, and end up wanting some additional outside help."
With the new app, Pieri said she also thinks the quicker access to results will mean more students might be willing to seek assistance when they need it, which is an important first step for many who are just beginning to ask for help.
“I believe that the app solves many problems, especially being able to go and get help when you need it," Pieri said. "Not only does it provide additional help outside of counseling sessions for students, but it also provides critical help to those who may be reluctant to visit the counseling center in the first place.”