🔴 NJ college students have access to more mental health services in the state

🔴 The free counseling provides teletherapy for any student at 45 state colleges

🔴 The Murphy administration approved the $26 million expansion

College students facing mental health issues in New Jersey now have access to free counseling 24/7, 365 days a year.

The program is called Uwill, a digital mental health platform created in April 2023 that allows students from 45 New Jersey colleges and universities access to free round-the-clock teletherapy, crisis connection, and wellness programs, said NJ Secretary of Higher Education, Brian Bridges.

“That essentially means that there are tens of thousands of students who have access to free and immediate services. We already have more than 11,000 New Jersey students who are registered on the platform and those students participated in over 36,000 sessions in the past year,” Bridges said.


Crisis support, teletherapy, and wellness programs like yoga are provided through Uwill.

With Uwill, students have the ability to choose a therapist based on their unique needs and preferences such as focus areas, gender, race, language and ethnicity. They can pick a time that fits their schedule with day, night and weekend availability, and by the appointment type preferred (video, phone, chat, or message).

To make things better, Bridges said the state legislature and the Murphy administration have committed $26 million in additional funding through the American Rescue Plan funds to allow the expansion of Uwill through at least April 2026.

This will allow current college students and others who want to sign up for the program to take advantage of services over the next couple of years, he added.

The expansion of Uwill comes at a time when the mental health crisis among college-aged students nationally and in New Jersey remains prevalent.

The share of college students across the country experiencing depression has risen from 21% to more than 40%, almost doubling, Bridges said. Nearly as many students are experiencing anxiety. 15% of students have seriously considered suicide.

Sad depressed young teenage girl sitting by wall

“We’re seeing these trends replicated in New Jersey, and in a survey that we did of more than 15,000 New Jersey college students in the fall of 2021, 70% of the students rated their stress and anxiety level as higher or much higher than the previous year during the depths of COVID,” Bridges said.

Mental health issues were on the rise already. COVID exacerbated that, so this is part of the state’s response to help students give them the support they need to thrive not only in college, but after college as well, he added.

Sometimes it can be difficult for a college student to admit they need help and ask for it. Many are embarrassed about increased academic pressure, the impact the COVID pandemic still has on them, and more.

Bridges said for so long, there has been a stigma in society around mental health and that people in need of help are considered flawed and weak.

In the Classroom Multi Ethnic Students Listening to a Lecturer and Writing in Notebooks. Smart Young People Study at the College.

However, he is encouraged that the stigma is rapidly melting away because students are increasingly seeking out the assistance they need.

“I would encourage students to keep speaking up and reaching out because they are champions not only on their campuses, but in their communities as well, who stand ready to help and provide support,” Bridges said.

Students should never feel that they are alone.

“Uwill is a reflection of the state’s commitment to their mental health and their success and we want them to understand that the state and Uwill stands in support of their mental health needs as they move forward to become productive adults and citizens in the future,” Bridges said.


Students can access the platform on the Uwill app from their tablets, smartphones, and other devices.

A list of participating institutions partnered with Uwill can be referenced here. Specific offerings can be found here.

Those interested in registering should contact their college or university directly. Typically, they will need to create a profile on Uwill's platform using their school email. After creating a profile, students can immediately schedule an appointment with a therapist of their choosing. Many have their first session within a few hours and on the same day.

Bridges said even though spring semesters have come to an end in New Jersey, Uwill and mental health services do not take breaks.

Students can seek out help throughout the summer, whether they’re taking classes, working an internship or staying home. Bridges said they can still access the platform regardless of where they are and get the mental health they need throughout the country, as well as internationally.

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