For most students, college is a stressful time. It often involves a constant balancing act between doing schoolwork, meeting deadlines, trying to maintain a healthy social life and maybe even having a job to earn some money. Now, in light of a global pandemic in which the opportunities to see friends and family are limited, that balancing act has become a lot more difficult. Staff at the University of Maine Counseling Center have recognized this and have released the SilverCloud program to help students manage their anxieties and stress.
SilverCloud is a wellness program delivered through an app that helps students with their mental health through wellness exercises. These self-guided exercises are designed to help users change beliefs and behaviors to start thinking and feeling better. SilverCloud’s modules focus on dealing with anxiety, depression, stress, resilience, insomnia and even worries related to COVID-19. The pandemic has taken an exceptionally steep toll on student’s mental health. Part of the entire college experience is making new friends and new memories with new people and having the ability to explore and find yourself. When the ability to interact with others becomes restricted, and that original college plan is hindered, students’ mental health can begin to suffer because of it. While most people agree that they want the COVID-19 pandemic to end as soon as possible, students and community members alike have to be able to help themselves and make efforts to improve their mental health. The app mainly tackles mild to moderate symptoms, and should not be considered a substitute for traditional therapy. However, it can be used as a helpful tool for trying to change to a more positive mindset and act as a stepping stone on the journey of self-love and emotional awareness.
SilverCloud has a heightened focus on information and education, but also provides information through quizzes, online journaling and mood monitoring. Each module within the program takes about 40 minutes to complete, but it is important that students take their time and do not feel rushed when completing these activities. Silvercloud is available to students in the app store for iPhone and Android users, as well as through a web browser. The service is free with a UMaine student ID. As the world continues to get more stressful, it’s important to take care of our mental health, in order to properly handle all the challenges that lie ahead. While that is not always an easy road to travel, this service can make that journey just a bit easier.
If you or someone you know are facing difficulties surrounding your mental health there is help available. Please reach out to the UMaine Counseling Center at 207-581-1392 or visit their website below for more information. Additionally, 24/7 help is available with Community Health and Counseling Services’ Crisis Response line at 888-568-1112. For more severe symptoms of mental distress please visit the nearest emergency room.