Smart phones could be lifelines for college students

Add another function to smart phones on college campuses: a potential life-saving device for at-risk students.

Almost all college student has a smart phone, according to surveys.

The University of California Davis campus Dec. 9 unveiled a mobile site known as “Just in Case” that allows students to seek mental health services without the stigma often attached to traditional assistance during times of personal crises.

Offering students a menu of phrases including “I’m struggling to cope,” “I’m worried about a friend,” and “I might hurt myself,” the university’s mental health site helps guide students to the proper services on campus.

University officials said the “Just in Case” site would be a welcomed and potentially life-saving offering for students who might be embarrassed to seek help with traditional avenues.

The site was launched just as UC Davis’ final exams kicked off, marking perhaps the most stressful, demanding week of a college student’s academic career.

“It can take a lot of courage for someone to be willing to seek help when in need,” said Zachary Ward, a staff psychologist with counseling services at UC Davis, a campus of more than 33,000 students. “The moment someone is ready, we at Student Health and Counseling Services want to be right there with the resources and support to help. This mobile website is another way we can do just that.”

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