UMD offers new online mental health program

Illustration by: Rebecca Kottke

Illustration by: Rebecca Kottke

This year, a new initiative is being offered to students through an online mental health program called Learn to Live.

“Learn to Live is a new tool to complement counseling services offered at UMD,” said Jean Baribeau-Thoennes, Counseling Director at Health Services.

This program is based on cognitive behavioral therapy. It assesses and delivers educational interventions on stress, depression and social anxiety. The program offers confidential, 24/7 access and psychological tools for managing these issues.

“We hope that this program might reach those students who are not ready to come to counseling and may serve as a catalyst for taking the next steps for their emotional well-being,” Thoennes said.

In order to enroll in the right program, the student will start out by taking an online assessment which will allow them to see what they struggle with most. From there it will direct the student to a few different program options that they can choose from.

Once the student chooses a program option they can begin their 90-day membership for free. Within each program, they can choose from different lessons, chat with coaches, add teammates and track their progress.

“We wanted to help more people,” Dr. Russel Morfitt, chief psychology officer said on the Learn to Live homepage. “We were troubled when anxiety sufferers couldn’t schedule appointments due to a shortage of psychologists and therapists that provide the treatment that really works for anxiety. So, we developed a program from the ground up.”

The program is constructed to be easy and accessible to students. It allows the student to personalize the program to fit their needs and schedule.

The assessment takes about ten minutes and gives an in-depth description of what mental health issue should be the student’s central focus.

The Learn to Live program encourages students to tune in every day and spend at least a little bit of time moving further into lessons in order to keep improving mental health.

The program can be accessed by going to and typing in the access code “UMN.”


NewsCassidy Johnson