With a growing need for mental health support across Canadian university campuses, Carleton University is giving students free access to an online self-help platform.

TAO Self-Help provides educational modules and practice tools designed to help students with emotional well-being, coping skills development and resilience training.

Michelle Baulch, the assistant manager of student success and advising at Carleton, says she hopes students, both on and off campus, will take advantage of the mental health resources.

“TAO has a very robust platform and is quite innovative in delivering mental health support, providing students with a counselling option that they can access at anytime,” Baulch explains.

Because TAO offers a hybrid of face-to-face counselling and online tools, it can accommodate students who would not necessarily be able to access, or want to access, traditional in-person counselling support.

“The self-help modules are available 24/7, for free, and provide tools and information to help students develop skills for coping in a timely fashion and measures to check in on their well-being,” Baulch adds.

For more specific treatment, students can use the online therapy option to schedule appointments with TAO counsellors online. They can help address issues related to mild or moderate anxiety and depression. Additional support is provided through brief weekly meetings with a counsellor via videoconference.

The mental health support platform was introduced at Carleton based on recommendations from the Student Mental Health Framework 2.0 and on requests from the student body for a form of online support at Health and Counselling Services.

The modules themselves were developed based on feedback from students at the University of Florida. Once the module focusing on anxiety and depression was established, designers behind TAO decided to utilize content that would help teach behavioural health skills to students.

“TAO quickly realized the opportunity to make this content available as self-help to teach life skills and to increase behavioural health literacy for all students across campus, and for online as well as study abroad students,” Baulch says.

To get started with TAO, sign up here using your Carleton email. Remember, TAO Self-Help is intended as a prevention program and is not a treatment for mental health disorders. If you require treatment for an emotional or mental health problem, please contact Health and Counselling Services at 613-520-6674.

By Bianca Chan

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