Depression and anxiety affect college students at a higher rate than the general population, and new quarantine guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19 make their lives even tougher.

Laptop sitting on a counter suroounded by various items, including a cup of coffee.Sharpen, a mental health content and technology company, has released its Sharpen Colleges mobile and desktop app for free to all college students, and the University of West Georgia is one of the first trailblazing partners to encourage students to download and utilize the app.

As a response to the evolving COVID-19 situation, access to the app content is free until Aug. 31. Sharpen collaborates with licensed mental health providers to provide students self-help information, techniques and guidance in a safe environment. Unique to Sharpen, the content is offered in the voices and perspectives of students themselves.

“During this pandemic, it’s more important than ever to support our students’ mental health, as well as their physical health,” said Dr. Brendan Kelly, UWG’s president. “The programs offered through Sharpen will be transformative in how students can improve their mental health from the privacy of their own homes."

As colleges across the country have shifted to virtual classes, many students are feeling more mental and emotional stress than they can handle alone. Depression and anxiety affect college students at a higher rate than the general population, and the new quarantine guidelines make their lives even tougher.

"In times as uncertain as these, we want to provide something students can rely on," said Robyn Hussa Farrell, CEO and co-founder of Sharpen. “The Sharpen Colleges app allows college students discreet access to valuable mental health resources that will help them through these unprecedented challenges.”

Person holding a cellphone with a screenshotSharpen is offering these free support resources customized for college students at no charge. For the company’s existing campus customers, their students will continue to have access to live support, informational videos, and a closed social network for the remainder of the school year.

Dr. Rahul N. Mehra, CEO and Chief Physician Executive of the National Center for Performance Health and adviser to Sharpen, is relieved that these rich resources will be available to college students to mitigate the long-term mental health risks this crisis could have on our young adults.  

“We really don’t think enough about prevention,” said Mehra. “Statistics indicate that for adults who develop major psychiatric issues in their 20s, over 50 percent of the time those patients have started manifesting symptoms during childhood.” 

For more information about how to access this free program, please visit www.SharpenHealth.com to learn more.

Posted on April 6, 2020