OLC's exclusive collaboration explores the support needs of online learners to improve outcomes and students' mental health--student mental health is a priority.

New initiative targets online students’ mental health

OLC's exclusive collaboration explores the support needs of online learners to improve outcomes

Key points:

  • Student mental health is a top priority for higher-ed institutions across the nation
  • A new partnership will address mental health and well-being concerns for online and blended students
  • See related article: The rise of the chief wellness officer on campus

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC), a collaborative community of higher education leaders, and Uwill, a student mental health and wellness solution for higher education, have formed a new partnership that will establish Uwill as OLC’s exclusive educational teletherapy partner.

OLC is emphasizing the importance of student mental health as part of its mission to foster community and knowledge around quality online, blended, and digital learning while driving innovation. Uwill and OLC have committed to conducting joint research in the fall to offer insight into the mental health needs of online learners and how to best support them.

“Through this partnership, we are committed to furthering the conversation around supporting online learners to ensure their success,” said OLC CEO Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D. “Online institutions may need an increased focus on supporting student mental health to ensure academic success, as this factor is correlated to a student choosing not to continue their education.”

The partnership comes at a time when a growing number of higher education students, both traditional college students and adult learners, are struggling with mental health. Currently, 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year. Online students have increased risk of psychological distress compared to students who attend in-person classes, regardless of sociodemographic factors, COVID-19 concerns, and socialization levels.

“The number of non-traditional learners at postsecondary institutions has escalated in recent years,” said Michael London, founder and CEO of Uwill. “Adult learners are not just dealing with the rigor of academic study, they are also faced with other life circumstances including employment, family, financial decision, and other challenges that can negatively affect their academic behaviors.”

Utilizing its proprietary technology and counselor team, Uwill pioneered a student and therapist matching platform. The solution offers an immediate appointment with a licensed counselor based on student preferences, all modalities of teletherapy, a direct crisis connection, wellness events, realtime data, and support.

This press release originally appeared online.

Related: Mental health, recession, campus violence top students’ concerns

Sign up for our newsletter

Newsletter: Innovations in K12 Education
By submitting your information, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Laura Ascione