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Prioritizing mental health through university resources

BYU-Idaho students are not excluded from the effects of the pandemic or other emotional stressors in life.

According to the World Health Organization, “In the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by a massive 25%.”

For this reason, BYU-I provides a variety of resources to teach students how to cope with and improve poor mental health. THRIVE, among others, is one resource.


According to THRIVE’s Instagram, THRIVE is a “BYUI mental health program seeking to increase JOY in students by teaching positive psychology, coping skills and doing recreational activities.” Typically, THRIVE is a 9-week program that meets twice a week.

“Tuesday is our learning day where we teach more content and have discussions,” said Anna Willden, the THRIVE marketing specialist. Thursdays are used more often for activities and application from what they learned.

This semester, THRIVE will be held from May 3 through June 28, as well as an additional 8-week program beginning on May 10. Students are still encouraged to sign up even after the start date.

Counseling Center

The BYU-I counseling center offers individual, group or couples counseling services to students on campus.

The first step to receiving help through the counseling center is making an appointment for a consultation, where the student will work with a counselor to identify their needs. After the initial meeting, the counseling center will create a plan which may include individual counseling or referrals to other resources such as mental health workshops or mindfulness exercises.


Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) is an interactive, independently performed program that teaches users effective habits and coping skills for a wide range of needs. It offers over 40 different modules to choose from and can be done at your own pace. The modules available include, but are not limited to, helping general anxiety, financial stress, perfectionism and test anxiety.

TAO can be used in conjunction with counseling and other mental health services, or on its own. This is a free resource and can be accessed through the counseling center website.

Reed Stoddard, the Counseling Center director, suggests that students should start improving their mental health by focusing on creating balance between social, spiritual, intellectual and physical needs. This can be supported through most university resources, such as staying physically fit through BYU-I fitness classes, using academic support resources on campus, regularly trying to connect socially with those around you and improving spirituality.

“If you focus on punishment and guilt in the way you think about God and religion, that’s not gonna help your mental health,” Stoddard said. “But if you focus on love and mercy and forgiveness, you’re gonna have a healthier mentality.


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