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Carthage innovates to expand access to mental health support
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Carthage innovates to expand access to mental health support

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KENOSHA — Carthage College announced an initiative to give students easier access to mental health services.

Uwill is a new program providing teletherapy for students, enabling all Carthage students on-demand counseling with licensed professionals through chat, video, phone or text message.

Seed money for the virtual therapy program came from the Ruud Family Foundation of Racine which inspired additional commitments from the Mary Frost Ashley Charitable Trust and several college trustees. Carthage parents William and Shanna Otto committed additional support and are issuing a challenge to raise another $10,000 through the College’s Giving Day campaign.

“The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted just how important it is to enable students to access therapy and mental health support as easily as possible,” said John Swallow, Carthage president. “By using a platform and approach that are familiar to today’s students, Uwill is removing barriers to the counseling process and helping us give all Carthage students the support they need when they need it.”

Carthage launched the teletherapy program in response to students’ growing demand for mental health support, which mirrors the challenges across the country. Prior to the pandemic, more than 60% of college students said they had experienced “overwhelming anxiety” in the past year, according to a 2018 report from the American College Health Association. According to an April survey by Active Minds, a national mental health advocacy group, 80% of college students say the pandemic has negatively affected their mental health.

Even before the pandemic, mental health issues were a growing concern on college campuses.

“Across the country, mental health has emerged as one of the most significant issues of our time,” said Chris Ruud, president of the Ruud Family Foundation. “We are proud to support Carthage College as they seek an innovative solution to this challenge and meet the needs of a new generation of students.”

To contribute to the Teletherapy Mental Health Fund, go to carthage.edu/supportmentalhealth.

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