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Challenge

At a time when college students are experiencing all-time high rates of depression, anxiety, loneliness and suicidality, the increased demand for traditional campus services have far outpaced the capacity, fueling the need for more innovative solutions to strengthen student mental health and wellness.

Despite the rising awareness surrounding mental health issues, many college students struggle to prioritize their mental well-being, and many times don’t know what campus resources are available that help promote effective self-care techniques. 

Solution

The Joan & Irwin Jacobs Center for Health Innovation (JCHI), in collaboration with a group of UC San Diego students, has created an intuitive technology solution designed to support personalized student mental health and wellbeing by giving them on-demand access to critical resources on campus. 

This new mental health and wellness app, called Willo, will provide personalized resources and incentives to empower students to understand and learn how to take charge of their mental health. It removes the barriers to mental health and wellness programs on campus via an intuitive system aggregator that recommends available services, resources, and apps that align with a student’s interests and goals while providing health analytics and incentives to keep them engaged and motivated.

This app aims to spark a transformative shift in how students perceive and prioritize their emotional and psychological needs. The goal is to champion mental health awareness, encourage open dialogue, and empower students to reclaim their well-being on the path to success. 

This app aims to spark a transformative shift in how students perceive and prioritize their emotional and psychological needs.

For the first time, UC San Diego students will spend more time engaging in their mental health and well-being instead of spending hours trying to find the right campus services and activities.

Key Features

  • A recommendation engine
  • Health analytics
  • Active and passive sensing
  • Gamification and incentives
  • Predictive algorithm for anxiety and depression

Launch

The app is expected to launch in Fall 2024 for all UC San Diego students. The launch will include specific pilot programs for UC San Diego Medical School students, as well as transfer students. The ultimate goal for this novel platform is to create an app that can be extended to any university campus. 

Partners

State of California, UC San Diego

Student Health Service and CAPSAWS,

Data Science Alliance, Healthcare Human Factors

To support and join our efforts in improving student mental health and well-being, please contact Nicole May, Co-Director JCHI, nmay@​health.​ucsd.​edu.