UA Little Rock has partnered with TAO Connect, a digital platform designed to make behavioral health therapy more accessible and effective, to provide the university community with unlimited access to TAO Connect’s digital mental health platform starting in the 2021 spring semester.
Through the partnership, UA Little Rock’s Counseling Services can digitally expand its reach and overcome challenges the pandemic presented to university counseling centers across the nation by providing mental health support during this turbulent time from afar. One of the most notable benefits of TAO Connect is the ability for counselors to meet with students virtually through its HIPPA compliant video conferencing feature.
TAO Connect’s technology can also be used in two additional ways: the counselors can individually assign the online-based sessions to students as a way to enhance virtual appointments, or users can independently sign up for the Self-Help feature for a completely self-guided experience.
“Students’ mental health has been considerably impacted by the pandemic, and it was important to us that our counseling center adjusted to provide support through this time in a way that is both effective and efficient,” said Dr. Mike Kirk, director of counseling and health services at UA Little Rock. “By partnering with TAO Connect, we’re able to meet our students where they are with evidence-based mental health support.”
TAO Connect contains more than 150 online interactive sessions on anxiety, depression, substance abuse, anger, sexual violence, and more. Additionally, the platform offers a library of mindfulness exercises and journal prompts – which include an anxiety monitoring log and a relaxation and mindfulness log. It also includes The TAO Assistant, an AI chatbot that helps users personalize an experience specific to their needs.
“With their college experience significantly altered, young people are more susceptible to mental health concerns, which impact not only their academics but their overall quality of life,” said Dr. Sherry Benton, founder and chief science officer of TAO Connect. “As a result of our collaboration, UA Little Rock is taking an important step in adapting to the environment and providing the community with access to mental health support.”
TAO has been purchased for UA Little Rock using funds from the Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention grant that was awarded to UA Little Rock MidSOUTH. This grant provides funds to campus organizations to increase awareness about suicidal behaviors and to enhance services for students to prevent suicide. TAO Connect is available for free to all UA Little Rock students, faculty, and staff members. To learn more about TAO and its technology, please visit www.TAOConnect.org or ualr.edu/counseling/tao.