In an effort to help students and employees improve their mental wellness in an easier and more effective way, the BYU-Idaho Counseling Center is now providing a new free resource called Therapy Assist Online (TAO). TAO is an app and online platform that includes various health modules that are suggested to individuals based on wellness assessments.
An online tool like TAO was something that the Counseling Center has wanted to provide for its patients who need assistance when an in-person counselor is unavailable.
With this new digital tool, the Counseling Center will be able to help more students then it could before. When an individual has to wait longer than they desire to meet with a campus counselor, this tool is another option to get more immediate help. While students are on a waitlist, they can login to TAO and go through the self-help modules.
Counseling Center Director Reed Stoddard says placing the tool into the hands of students allows individuals to become more self-reliant on taking care of their mental health.
“Originally it was designed to help counseling center therapists on campuses be able to work more effectively with students,” Stoddard said. “Now it’s expanded into a self-help platform as well.”
The TAO program contains three parts: TAO self-help, TAO assigned, and TAO therapy and each plays an important role in helping students become the best they can be.
The TAO self-help format of the program will allow students to track their behaviors in an easily accessible way. It features videos and animations in the modules to make the program personable to users. Users can explore modules about a variety of topics based on their needs including; stress and anxiety, improving your mood, depression, interpersonal relationships, alcohol and drug use, pain management, recovery skills, and general well-being and resilience.
The TAO assigned section of the program is for faculty and staff to assign students specific topics to study in TAO. According to Stoddard, the Counseling Center is going to work with various departments on campus to create awareness of TAO. The College Success class on campus will also implement TAO into its class to educate students on how to use the program during their time at BYU-Idaho.
“It has the capability of working with a lot of different areas on campus,” Stoddard said.
In addition to the self-help platform and assigned option, a TAO therapy option is also available for students who are brought to TAO by a counselor to review specific content. The counselor can check in on a student’s progress through their online assessments with TAO.
To get started with TAO or get more information on what TAO offers, check out the Counseling Center website: www.byui.edu/counseling-center/tao