Universities nationwide promote mental health app to treat 'anxiety over racism'

  • Universities have offered an app called Sanvello to students as mental health support.
  • A recent article from the service proposed that fighting racism will provide the “path to peace.”

A mental health app circulated by colleges recommends allying with efforts toward antiracism for users with anxiety. 

Sanvello, a service marketed as the “#1 app for stress, anxiety, and depression with over 3 million users,” offers therapies for dealing with mental health stress, including tools for coaching, peer support, and self-care. Users receive premium access to the app free of charge for the duration of the pandemic. 

“If you’re white, approaching the process of unraveling racism may seem foreboding, yet discomfort (and there will be some) does not dismiss the necessity of the work"   

The website for the app recently published a blog article titled “Anxiety over racism: A path towards peace” which encourages readers to work through their anxiety and choose to be active against racism, in a piece listed under the same category as articles providing tips for managing anxiety attacks and handling flight anxiety

[RELATED: Harvard study finds trigger warnings increase anxiety] 

“If you’re white, approaching the process of unraveling racism may seem foreboding, yet discomfort (and there will be some) does not dismiss the necessity of the work,” author Roxane Battle writes. “To be sure, there will be bumps in the road ahead. Mistakes will be made. But the fear of saying the wrong thing or not getting it exactly right should not deter. It’s part of the process. As many a scraped knee can attest, we have to keep climbing back on [the] bike until we all learn to ride."

Allyship, Battle writes, “is a pathway forward, a path towards peace.” 

[RELATED: NY school's 'White Ally Checklist': 'I can debrief with people of color to give and receive 'reality checks'']

The Sanvello app has been endorsed by universities across America. 

The University of Missouri-St. Louis promoted Sanvello as a resource for dealing with stressful situations. 

“It helps people gain more mindfulness around their mental health and well-being,” the associate vice provost for Student Affairs at UMSL commented. “The great thing is that it’s customizable and really specific to different circumstances. Before you give a presentation in class, you can listen to a 10-minute meditation on being mindful about how you’re going to present yourself. There’s also one for flying. People can gain some valuable skills if they get into the app and really immerse themselves in it.”

Pepperdine University and Southwest Tennessee Community College advertise Sanvello in conjunction with other COVID-19 resources, while Brigham Young University,  Syracuse University, Texas A&M University, the University of Maine-Machias, the University of Missouri System, and the University of Washington-Seattle recommend Sanvello as part of their student wellness services. 

When discussing an initiative to improve mental health resources for students at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, co-chair Kathryn Brewer said the university was seeking to update its services and develop new strategies -- which specifically included the addition of Sanvello. 

“These initiatives will save lives,” Brewer said.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @mariatcopeland 

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Maria Copeland
Maria Copeland | Virginia Campus Correspondent

Maria Copeland is a Virginia Campus Correspondent, reporting on liberal bias and abuse on campus for Campus Reform. She is originally from Herndon, Virginia and received her Associates of Arts in Communications from Northern Virginia Community College this May. She will attend James Madison University in the Fall. While on campus, Maria was Gupta Family Foundation Scholar, Vice President of the Loudoun Student Government Association, Vice President of the Loudoun Writing Association, and a Student Ambassador for the Honors Program. She was also a Page for the Fairfax County Public Library. Maria was also a Campus Reform intern Summer 2020.

20 Articles by Maria Copeland