COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Through the pandemic, we learned just how important our mental health is.
Texas A&M University has expanded their mental health student support app, TELUS, to all colleges and universities within the Texas A&M University System to promote healthier mindsets across all campuses.
“How can we support our students,” said licensed professional counselor, Kristie De La Garza with Texas A&M. “They’re struggling. They’re stressed. They’re lacking connection with each other. They don’t know who to turn to.”
De La Garza saw the need for University Health Services to expand their reach with students and their mental health.
"They now can have confidential, 24/7 access to professional mental health care through their phone,” said De La Garza.
Dr. James Hallmark serves as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Texas A&M.
He shared the most recent pivotal and positive change of the app since launching in January of 2022.
“The bigger story is that we’ve spread this and made it available to all students throughout the A&M System, all 155,00 students have access to this app that will help them with their mental health services,” said Dr. Hallmark.
Students can readily access mental health help on demand.
“They need greater access to 24/7 kinds of resources that will help them with anxiety, depression, stress,” said Dr. Hallmark. “We found that initially in the test run that about 70 to 75 percent of the usage of this app is after business hours and on weekends.”
No matter the time of day or location, students will always be able to receive mental health resources in the TELUS app.
“They can decide they want to talk with a mental health professional, two o’clock in the afternoon or two o’clock in the morning, Saturday in the middle of the night, it doesn’t matter,” said De La Garza. “That app is always available for our Aggie students to have free access."
Prior to launching the app, university studies showed just how great students were mentally struggling.
The app also goes hand-in-hand with in-person counseling services offered on campus.
“About 75 percent of our students have indicated that they have great challenges in dealing with mental health as they go through college and trying to achieve the dream they have of obtaining a degree or moving on,” said Dr. Hallmark.
“We recognize also that students are reaching out,” said De La Garza. “The top three concerns are anxiety, personal stress, and depression.”
At Texas A&M, no Aggie stands alone.
“I just love the fact that Texas A&M University is saying ‘hey students, we are invested in your success.' In order for you to grow as a student, sometimes you need that emotional support. You just need someone to check in with you so you’re not alone,” said De La Garza.
The TELUS app is available through the App Store and Google Play Store for free. You can find additional mental health resources through the University Health Services here.