help button

A well-being button will be added to each University of Nebraska-Lincoln student’s Canvas dashboard to increase online access to mental health resources. 

With the expanded usage of online work, the new well-being button will take students to local mental health resources with the click of a button, according to Patrick Baker, co-chair of the Campus Life and Safety Committee of the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska.

Baker, a junior political science and global studies double major, along with Dave Johnson, director of academic technologies, and Connie Boehm, director of student resilience at Big Red Resilience and Well-being, helped craft the button. 

“I first saw this idea at the University of Michigan. They have a really well-developed well-being program.” Baker said. “I was looking at other Big Ten universities, and seeing how they prioritize well-being. I thought the University of Nebraska could use something like that.”  

As the first of it’s kind at UNL, the button will be featured on the university’s Canvas page, below the course work buttons. Students will be taken to a variety of sources, including assessments to see the state of their well-being, according to Boehm.

“The assessments that the students can take will give them a score in each of the different nine dimensions of well-being,” Boehm said. “For example, if a student scores low in the career well-being category, it offers how students can enhance their career well-being.”  

According to Baker, it is important to have accessible mental health resources, especially with the amounts of stress students are under. 

“When students look at their dashboard and see all the assignments they have to do, it can be stressful,” Baker said. “Even if students just take a minute to click through the resources they have available, it can ease some of that stress. It is important for students to take a minute to themselves and their mental health.” 

According to Boehm, the button couldn’t be possible without the push from Baker. 

“When I had originally seen an idea for the button, I was told it couldn’t happen here, but Patrick made it happen within less than a month,” Boehm said.

The button is approaching its final stages and should be up and running within the next week, according to Baker. He said they are making sure it works on all platforms and all Canvas users are able to see it before it is finalized. 

“Mental health is always important. It is always a challenge for students to know where to go for help,” Boehm said. “Whether it be for emotional well-being, or cultural well-being or anything, but if you can make something right in front of them every day, that’s great. It just makes it easier for them to connect.”