YOU@CSU is here to help you help you

You see it coming. The end of the year is just a few short weeks away, and you’re starting to stress. You need to get some perspective, a little helpful guidance, to do more than just survive your Colorado State University experience – you want to thrive, to succeed, to matter.

Now there’s a site for exactly that.

YOU@CSU is a new online portal that makes a whole range of mental health and support resources available to CSU students with a simple login. It’s free, it’s easy to use, it’s confidential and it can be accessed anytime – whenever you might need a little support.

More fun with YOU

Learn more about YOU@CSU on April 25, when campus partners will have a booth on the Plaza as part of Mental Health Awareness Week. Stop by, ask questions, play YOU@CSU Jeopardy!, and relieve some stress by petting puppies.

“Nobody likes being told what to do,” said Janelle Patrias, manager of Mental Health Initiatives for the CSU Health Network.  “YOU is different in how it asks students what they want to do and what they want to focus on. YOU offers suggestions, tips, tools and resources based solely on what is important to the individual, not what we think is important for them. That’s very unique.”

It’s unique because YOU@CSU was developed by a CSU alumnus with input from CSU students, and designed specifically to meet the needs of college students.

YOU_Sticker_SquarePatrias and the CSU Health Network team worked closely with Joe Conrad, a journalism graduate who owns Cactus Communications in Denver. Conrad originally developed a platform to deliver mental health resources to older men, a group notorious for not reaching out for help. From there, Conrad assembled a team of content creators and web developers under the name Grit Digital Health to create a new concept to appeal to college students, who may not be aware of all the resources they can access on campus – or where to find them.

“We know students are busy and as much as we’d like to have all campus resources open 24/7, obviously that’s not feasible,” Patrias said. “So now students can access some self-guided skill building any time they want.”

The initial design of YOU@CSU was piloted with groups of students on campus in Fall semester. Based on their reactions and comments, the Grit team updated the site and gave it a solid CSU look and feel.

YOU@CSU officially launched in February, and since then, more than 3,400 visitors have come to the site, and more than 1,100 students have created personal profiles. These profiles are completely confidential, so users can feel secure while exploring sensitive topics.

What can YOU do?

YOU@CSU offers three different domains to explore, to learn about your strengths and weaknesses by completing a Reality Check for that area:

Thrive = Physical/Mental Health

Succeed = Academics/Career

Matter = Purpose/Community/Social

Using your email as your login, you create a personal, confidential profile then start searching the topics, completing brief assessments and setting goals. As you meet your goals, you can check them off and YOU helps you move forward to the next level.

“The portal is a beneficial tool for students because they are able to use it as a way to take action in areas of their life they wish to improve,” Patrias said. “They can also use it to get guidance to avoid more serious problems and to get help when they need it.”

In fact, YOU@CSU has facilitated 21 clicks to CSU After-Hours Emergency information to date.

While the focus of YOU@CSU is mainly on students, the portal is open to anyone with a email address including faculty and staff. To date, about 300 CSU employees have set up their own profiles.