FLINT, Michigan — With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, the iWellness Center
has launched a special software to help schools survey students to provide data about their mental health at individual, group, and school district levels. This month, the center offered a free pilot option for schools nationwide that were interested in the software.
iWellness was created by Whitney Foley only two years ago and was open to schools in 2022. With her passion for wanting a program that is accessible and easy for students to be honest about their mental health, she has reached 32 schools, mostly in the Genesee County Area.
“iWellness Center was created to be a safe space for students to use their own voice and also to give schools purposeful data to be more proactive with mental health,” said Foley. “We do that with easy-to-use dashboards and also having resources available on every dashboard that is accessible 24/7 so students can be more hands-on with their own mental wellness.”
The software is for students in grades 3 through 12 and creates instant data for the students regarding their mental health. It can also create trends to point out students who may need more help and allow the school staff to provide more options for them.
The 24/7 accessible dashboard allows students to take action themselves when they are not feeling their best. The dashboard includes categories for the students to pick from such as gratitude practice, positive affirmations, and positive quotes to read.
A main staple at the iWellness Center is the surveys that can be administered weekly, biweekly, or monthly, depending on the school's choice. These surveys will not only help create trends from individual students' data, but also from the school as a whole. The data from the surveys put the students in different categories, in order to show what groups of students need more attention when it comes to improving their mental health.
“The iWellness Center can identify trends on an individual level, a group level, grade level, building level, and district level. That's really important because every district isn't one size fits all so I think it's valuable to be able to dive deep into the data to see what's going on on those different levels,” said Foley.
The center is now a team of six. Foley herself is a Certified Wellness Coach and has worked in the mental health industry for eight years. The team also has a Master’s level child and adolescent psychologist who offers her services to the students who need them. “We all divide and conquer and make sure that all of our school partners are being served to the best ability — being served in a way they deserve,” said Foley.
While most of its work is in Genesee County and other areas of Michigan, Foley would love for the iWellness to progress nationwide. “Our goal is to really get the platform into all schools in Michigan first, just because that's where our home base is, and we want to support our local community.”
For more information on the iWellness Center, visit: iwellnesscenter.org
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