Free Virtual Mental Health Services Via Telehealth
The state is partnering with Uwill, an online campus counseling service founded in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to provide a telehealth counseling service with free, online therapy to students enrolled at 44 public and private higher education institutions in New Jersey. Participating colleges and universities can complement the program through separate initiatives funded by grant money awarded by the state for mental health programming.
The program is available 24/7 to address a growing need for counseling and mental health support that has strained the capacity of many campuses. The participating institutions opted into the program include three Rutgers University campuses, community colleges in Bergen and Passaic county, Princeton University and Montclair State University.
More than 70 percent of New Jersey students rated higher stress and anxiety levels compared with the previous year, and 40 percent of students were concerned about their mental health related to the pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found in a study conducted in 2021 that suicidal thoughts among teenage girls rose after the pandemic and stayed about the same for teenage boys.