A team of Ohio State students and faculty traveled to Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. on Jan. 21 to begin developing a mental wellness app. Credit: Courtesy of TNS

Ohio State is making mental wellness more technologically accessible for its students through the launch of a mental health app.

The app will be released in January 2020 after almost a year of development and promote mental wellness among students, Jessica Phillips, associate director of student experience with Digital Flagship, said.

The app, designed in coordination with Apple Inc., will include Ohio State-specific and outside resources. The creation of a wellness app fulfills recommendations from University President Michael V. Drake’s Suicide and Mental Health Task Force, which was created to improve Ohio State’s mental health resources.

The app’s conception began Jan. 21 during a three-day development process at Apple’s headquarters. Six students, two Digital Flagship representatives and four university administrators represented Ohio State during the collaboration in Cupertino, California.

The mental health app will feature four main screens that will provide timely resources, immediate help, crisis help and proactive self-help information, Phillips said.

“One big area of the app will be sharing timely resources for students,” Phillips said. “[Students] will be presented with very carefully curated resources that would either help them on their own or to get help from a professional.”

The app was developed in conjunction with university leaders and experts, but also relied on the help of Ohio State students as the main beneficiaries, Phillips said.

“The student feedback has been largely positive and very reaffirming,” Phillips said. “That feedback has been really valuable, and we’ve been integrating it in heavily.”

The app is by Ohio State and for Ohio State, Grace Buchholz, marketing and communications lead with Digital Flagship, said.

“We’re really taking the first steps to provide a unique resource for students, truly tailored to the needs of Ohio State,” she said.

Although the specific release day has not been determined, the app will first launch on Ohio State students’ iPads as part of the Digital Flagship program and then be integrated into the Ohio State app, Phillips said.