UConn students create online platform to help peers’ mental health during pandemic

Technology

STORRS, Conn. (WTNH) — All of us can use a ‘refresher’ now and then, a way to exhale and regroup. No one knows that better than college students. Two University of Connecticut students have created an online platform to help support their peers during this time.

While it can be an exciting time, the pandemic has also made it a time if uncertainty and isolation.

“It’s definitely a weird time to have virtual classes, not go to the library to study until 2 a.m., or attend the dining hall and hang out with your friends,” Alex Kim told News 8.

Kim, a junior at UConn, along with classmate Jamison Cote wanted to do something about it, so they created ‘Refreshr’, an online platform.

“I’m actually stuck at my house right now,” Cote said. “I know being without friends for a long time has really impacted my mental health.”

Nobody knows what college students are going through better than other college students. By using today’s technology they have created a way for students from UConn and across the country a way to connect with others and offer support and encouragement.

“Really, [the] people who can connect with us on the unique struggles of a college student are college students themselves which is why we’re trying to use ‘Refreshr’ to make it a platform for students to say ‘hey, I’m just like you’ and be able to find some comfort and encouragement from other students,” Kim said.

What they are creating then, is modern-day pen pals. Not just from UConn, but from across the country.

They only started in September, but Cote has reason to be encouraged by the early reaction from others to whom he has reached out.

“Gotten a lot of responses and video submissions from students across the nation. I know we reached out to students from the University of Michigan, there are students from New York State. Just students from all over that have participated in the “Refreshr” campaign.”

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