SilverCloud offers students free online stress training

Tom Baker 

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     SilverCloud meets at the intersection of technology and psychology, giving students online access to resilience-building exercises to help manage life stressors. Students can access the module-based program on an app or a computer.       

     The SilverCloud system offers students a convenient way to get better sleep, manage stress and build their overall resiliency. 

     Carrie Yeager, a research associate and clinical psychologist at the Lyda Hill Institute for Human Resilience and a user of SilverCloud, said, “If you had to kind of summarize it, I’d say it really provides skills to help you better manage and cope with the many challenges and stressors of life, especially college life, you know? Because there’s a lot of stressors. So, it’s really skills for increasing your coping with challenges.” 

     Yeager said the program is beneficial because of user anonymity, its 24/7 accessibility and its capability to supplement — not replace — traditional therapy. “It’s really not to replace professional counseling … especially if you’re having pretty severe symptoms or in crisis, definitely contact the Wellness Center,” she said. 

     Yeager said the program could help users better understand why their therapist has them do certain things, supplementing their experience with traditional therapy. She believes anyone who wants to better understand and handle their life stresses should use the program.  

     According to a flyer released by Lyda Hill, “The no-cost service does not require a doctor’s order, can be completed at any pace, and is accessible any time on a smartphone, tablet or computer.” 

     Kathryn Dosch, director at Lyda Hill, said students would benefit from setting a time each week to use the program. “If it’s something that they’re doing just to boost their resiliency, setting a schedule every week would be really helpful, right? Because anything you make a pattern out of is going to help reinforce the pattern,” she said. 

     SilverCloud divides its program into modules that include help for general resilience, sleep help, COVID-19 resiliency and space from stress. Dosch said that the average time to complete a module is around 15 minutes. 

     “It’s a suite of programs that are really designed to help you think and feel better. It’s based on cognitive behavioral therapy,” Yeager said. “Cognitive behavioral therapy is really about how your thoughts can influence your feelings and your behaviors, and then your behaviors can, in turn, influence your feelings and your thoughts. So, basically, they’re all interconnected.” 

     Lyda Hill sponsored SilverCloud’s introduction to the UCCS community during the Fall 2020 semester.  

     Dosch said no more than 100 people have signed up for the service. She said their current contract ends in March, and students who sign up before it will still be able to access the system once the contract runs out.  

     “New users won’t be able to sign up after March. We made that decision based on the year before. We had no new people sign up after March, but there were lots of people that signed up from October all the way through about February, and so that’s why we decided the current contract runs out in March,” Dosch said. 

     The program is free to all UCCS students residing in the zip codes 80106 to 80997 and can be accessed by visiting this link. 

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