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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

NIU offers new mental health app for students

Sean Reed
A Togetherall page asks for a patients concerns. Togetherall is a mental health platform that NIU is partnering with. (Sean Reed | Northern Star)

DeKALB – NIU has partnered with a mental health company to provide students with a new resource that can be accessed any time.

“Togetherall” is a web platform any NIU student can use if they feel they need someone to talk to.

The application is set up as a message board that allows students to create new conversations under different headings and draw art that expresses how they are feeling.

The application uses peer-to-peer support, with trained peer mentors, as well as licensed mental health professionals and other students using the application available to respond to posts made by students.

Tim Paquette, director of Counseling and Consultation Services, said students can find comfort in anonymously having a place to share how they’re feeling.

“Peer-to-peer support is starting to emerge as one of those effective ways for students to get mental health and social support,“ Paquette said. “There’s also that part around social connectedness. Even if you never know who you’re actually communicating to, there’s something about having that community of connection and support always available.” 

The service is free to all students. To register, students only need an NIU student email address.

If a student is experiencing more significant concerns, or suicidal thoughts, there is a monitoring system in place to make sure students receive immediate help when needed.

“There’s always licensed counselors who are monitoring in case more immediate response is needed or if there is significant concern for someone in terms of their safety or well-being,” Paquette said. “It’s nice that it has those checks and balances.”

Maddie Schleining, a junior education major, said she thinks the app will help students.

“I think it would be really beneficial given certain struggles that college students are facing,” Schleining said. “I know a lot of people that have used it.”

Counseling and Consultation Services’ peer mentors will also train to be peer mentors on the “Togetherall” service to expand skills of peer mentors.

Students who want to use Togetherall can visit the Togetherall website.

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