UMKC launches free access to new mental health app

Caleb Wilson

As part of Chancellor Agrawal’s new mental health initiative, Roos for Mental Health, UMKC is now offering students free access to one of the top-rated mental health apps on the market, Sanvello. 

Following the trend of universities like Syracuse and Texas A&M, UMKC is incorporating the app as one of the many resources available to students suffering from mental illness. 

When discussing the reasons behind the new initiative and the inclusion of Sanvello, Roos for Mental Health Co-Chair Kathryn Brewer says UMKC is working to better utilize its existing services and develop more proactive strategies to address the needs of students, faculty and staff.

“These initiatives will save lives,” Brewer said.

Brewer points to the Sanvello app as a prime example of this development. She believes these new efforts are extremely important when considering the increase in mental health issues for college students.

On the Sanvello website, the app is described as “help[ing] everyone find a path that works for them,” and focuses on using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) methods to improve users’ mental health. According to Sanvello, “CBT used in electronic applications has been shown to help with conditions including insomnia, social anxiety, depression and bulimia.”

The app offers users features such as a journal for daily mood tracking, coping tools, progress assessments and guided journeys designed by clinical experts to help users feel better and more in control over the course of the journey. The app even allows you to connect your account with any mental health professionals you see, allowing them to develop more personalized treatments for you.

Upon first opening the app, users will be asked how they are feeling that day on a sliding scale from great to awful, with the option to be more specific on their entries. It then opens onto the homescreen, from which you can find your past mood entries, guided journeys you may be utilizing or meditation activities.

“It seems very user friendly, and there aren’t a million hoops you have to jump through to get started,” said UMKC student Julian Garver. “The app also appears to try to focus on the nuances of your own mental illness instead of generalizing.”

When asked if they would use the app regularly, Garver said, “It seems slightly counterintuitive, to me, to use an app to try and make me feel better. I do think it could help some people, but everyone needs something different.”

To access the free version of the app, simply download it from any app store and create an account using your UMKC credentials. 

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