A G-V-S-U student sits by the Zumberge Pond on the Allendale Campus.

New app for GVSU faculty, staff members supports student mental health needs

Resources to support the mental health needs of Grand Valley students and help in the case of an emergency are now available at faculty and staff members’ fingertips.

The GV Mental Health app was developed by the University Counseling Center (UCC) by working with GVSU’s Applied Computing Institute and several undergraduate and graduate Computer Science students. The app is free and available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Melissa Selby-Theut, assistant director of prevention and community education for the UCC, said an Institutional Analysis survey of GVSU faculty revealed more than 70 percent of faculty said it would be helpful to have additional information to address student mental health concerns.

Specifically, the app:

  • Addresses anxiety, panic attacks, depression, suicidality, threatening behavior, unusual behavior and a variety of other student mental health issues
  • Provides a brief description, an informational video, warning signs and appropriate ways faculty and staff members might address each mental health concern
  • Includes an “I Have an Emergency” button, which defines a mental health emergency and outlines GVSU’s emergency procedures
  • Offers a variety of classroom techniques to foster student mental health and emotional resilience

With faculty members often working in classrooms or at their home, Selby-Theut said a goal was to provide the resources in a format that could be accessed anywhere.

“We wanted to not only provide written information, but something faculty could pull up any time of the day or night,” Selby-Theut said.

The UCC submitted a proposal and was selected by the Applied Computing Institute to have the app developed — making it organic to GVSU.

“I think the students involved felt passionately about the project and playing a part in saving lives,” Selby-Theut said.

Content for the app was developed by Selby-Theut and UCC mental health outreach specialist Kelsey Wenzel, with feedback from the Institutional Analysis survey and input from a clinical focus group.

For more information about how to download and use the app, the UCC has developed a short video: https://youtu.be/Tpc41DycW8U