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Mental health epidemic

University students are currently facing a mental health epidemic (Gorczynski, 2018). Through a combination of high self-expectation for academic performance, the strain of moving away from friends, family, and loved ones to pursue an education, the tribulation of relationship woes, and many other factors, university students have some of the highest rates of depression and generalized anxiety disorder (Eisenberg, Gollust, Golberstein, & Hefner, 2007). Many students are hesitant to seek support due to limited mental health literacy and the stigma surrounding those who seek help mental health issues (Givens &Tjia, 2002; Gorczynski, 2018; Jorm, 2012). Students also cited a long wait times, lack of money, lack of time, and fear of documentation on academic record as reasons for not seeking professional help (Givens &Tjia, 2002; Loumidis& Shropshire, 1997; Westin, Barksdale, & Stephan, 2014). Our aim is to provide a platform that will serve as a mental health hub for university students and eliminate the barriers students experience when attempting to find mental health assistance. Our platform will provide a place to find credible information to improve mental health literacy and decrease stigma, peer support forums to provide anonymous support networks, and subsidised professional assistance to lower the cost and difficulty of seeking help.Document Preview:

Introduction to Innovation: Purpose: University students are currently facing a mental health epidemic (Gorczynski, 2018). Through a combination of high self-expectation for academic performance, the strain of moving away from friends, family, and loved ones to pursue an education, the tribulation of relationship woes, and many other factors, university students have some of the highest rates of depression and generalized anxiety disorder (Eisenberg, Gollust, Golberstein, & Hefner, 2007). Many students are hesitant to seek support due to limited mental health literacy and the stigma surrounding those who seek help mental health issues (Givens & Tjia, 2002; Gorczynski, 2018; Jorm, 2012). Students also cited a long wait times, lack of money, lack of time, and fear of documentation on academic record as reasons for not seeking professional help (Givens & Tjia, 2002; Loumidis & Shropshire, 1997; Westin, Barksdale, & Stephan, 2014). Our aim is to provide a platform that will serve as a mental health hub for university students and eliminate the barriers students experience when attempting to find mental health assistance. Our platform will provide a place to find credible information to improve mental health literacy and decrease stigma, peer support forums to provide anonymous support networks, and subsidised professional assistance to lower the cost and difficulty of seeking help. Key Features: Upon entering the platform, the user will see a menu that will navigate to them several areas of the platform. These areas include Information, Forums, Professional Help, and Chatbot. At the top of the screen will be a red “Emergency” button that, when pressed, will immediately connect the user to a volunteer emergency counsellor. The user will be able to choose whether they would like to talk to the counsellor over the phone or via direct messaging. Within the Information section of the platform, users can find information from credible sources regarding a range of…

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