Long before Covid-19, college students faced a myriad of challenges in maintaining mental wellness: increasing academic pressure, ballooning student debt and unrelenting pressure to succeed — half of all students report incapacitating levels of stress, while 33 percent don’t return for their sophomore year. Perhaps most eye-opening is that suicide has climbed to the second leading cause of death among college populations. Given those challenges, now on steroids thanks to Covid-19, Cactushttps://www.cactusinc.com/ — along with in-house tech startup, Grit Digital Health — have revised and added Covid-19 related content to their ground-breaking Nod app.
Created in partnership with client Hopelab, Nod is designed to help college students form and maintain meaningful social connections and combat loneliness on campus. Nod is available for free and can be downloaded in the Apple and Google Play stores.
Joe Conrad, Cactus Founder and CEO, notes that when campuses began to close, it became clear the very measures required to prevent the spread of Covid-19 like social distancing, online learning and shelter-in-place would increase student vulnerability to loneliness — risking further negative impact on mental health and student success. Faced with that reality, the Cactus, Grit Digital Health and HopeLab teams quickly adapted their Nod app to offer new prompts and tools to navigate the disruptions to campus life — even when it’s not on campus at all — allowing students to maintain their social resilience, build and maintain social ties, all while staying safe and adhering to public health directives.
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