Student Assembly launches Calm App, a pilot mental health program


100 students were randomly selected to receive the one-year subscription.

by Kristin Chapman | 41 minutes ago

On October 5, the Student Assembly’s mental health committee announced its Calm app pilot program in a campus-wide email. Starting October 11, the pilot program offered 100 randomly selected students a free one-year subscription to Calm, an app that the email says is helping users reduce anxiety and improve sleep. thanks to its guided meditations and its music library. According to the app’s website, Calm’s resources are “evidence-based” and informed by “rigorous scientific research” that includes 12 research publications.

Mental Health Committee Chair Jessica Chiriboga ’24 said the goal of the Calm app pilot program is to help Dartmouth students improve their stress levels “more immediately” as they grow older. long-term policies change, such as increasing mental health counselors at Dick’s House and the extension of the 24-hour counseling hotline to accommodate multiple callers are effective.

According to Chiriboga, the Calm pilot program also includes a partnership with the College, which allows the College to access analysis of participant data. Aggregated data includes participant listening history and periodic surveys designed to gauge the effectiveness of the app, Chiriboga said.

“We hope that whatever data and commitment figures we get from this pilot project, we will provide evidence to present to the Dartmouth administration – – and then to the Student Assembly to fund more projects.” – – with the intention of making Calm a free resource for every student, much like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal subscription, ”she said.

According to Chiriboga, the data will be anonymous and the mental health committee will be the only person to access the data in the form of the total number of users and the total number of hours of engagement.

Chiriboga added that SA will also provide the data to the Student Wellness Center so that it can develop free resources similar to the most engaged activities on the app.

According to Chiriboga, as of Monday, 349 students had enrolled in the program and 100 students were selected to receive the subscription.

TJ Parekh ’24, one of the students selected to participate, said he believes the convenience of the Calm app will make the pilot program effective.

“[The program] is one of the most effective mental health initiatives, and it’s one of the few very concrete things that Dartmouth has really done, which is a good sign, ”he said, adding:“ I think the only other thing they can do is roll out the program to a larger level and deliver it to every student.

Chiriboga said SA first developed the idea for the Calm app pilot program in January 2021, after Duke University offered a free Headspace subscription to all students. Johns Hopkins University and Notre Dame University also offer Calm app subscriptions to their undergraduates.

“We reached out to Calm to have a program with them as they operate at a lot of big universities, and we kind of wanted to replicate that program and see how it could be implemented on the Dartmouth campus,” she said. declared.

Colin Donnelly ’24, one of the students who signed up for the program but was not chosen, said he liked the concept of the Calm app pilot because it encourages students to spend time to meditation and relaxation, if only once a day.

“I’m currently in cross country season and I feel like I’m not giving myself enough time,” he said. “Having something like the Calm app for meditating, or just being, would be really nice.”

Donnelly added that the rigor of being a Dartmouth student often has an impact on mental health, which is why it’s important for students to be proactive in reducing their stress levels.

“I feel like a lot of Dartmouth students are so engrossed in what they’re doing –– classes, sports, social life –– just so many time-consuming things, and I think I have something to do with it. help you collect yourself [and] the land yourself is very important.

The Student Assembly has other mental health initiatives underway, including funding for transportation to off-campus therapy and solar lights at residences during the colder months, according to Chiriboga.

Chiriboga is a former staff member at Dartmouth.


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