Today, Adapt IT Education, a division of Adapt IT Holdings, announced a partnership with Syked, an online student wellness platform, to provide universities and TVET colleges with a virtual mental health and wellness service via a mobile application.
"This partnership is one of our main strategic initiatives aimed at helping our higher education institutions to provide students with the technology and data they need to manage and learn about student mental health at their respective institutions. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has not aided students dealing with mental health issues, as we continue to see an increase in cases of students experiencing psychological challenges," says Luxolo Rubushe, Adapt IT Education Managing Director.
Through video conversations, text messages and phone calls, Syked's mobile app connects students to a network of vetted and experienced therapists. While adhering to a strict doctor-patient confidentiality agreement, the therapists work with students to help them overcome depression, stress and anxiety. Students will have free access to virtual private counselling and mental health support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"We are delighted to have found a partner in Adapt IT Education that shares our goals of de-stigmatising mental health issues, particularly in the African community, and ensuring that it is accessible to those who need it most," says Wandile Khumalo, Syked founder.
People from all areas of life regularly disregard mental health and wellness. The issue has been a subject of concern among South Africa's higher education institutions. According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag), in 2021, 20.8% of first-year students experienced anxiety and 13.6% had depression. In 2020, 30.6% of pupils had suicidal thoughts, 16.6% had plotted suicide, and 2.4% had attempted suicide. Furthermore, one out of every six South Africans is affected by anxiety, depression or substance abuse (this does not include more serious disorders such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia).
Given the increasing prevalence and complexity of student mental health difficulties, the partnership seeks to address the:
- Campus service providers' inability to keep up with the demand for mental healthcare;
- Foster communication and co-ordination difficulties between stakeholders, particularly concerning roles and responsibilities;
- Address the discrimination and insensitivity that mental health concerns generate among students and employees;
- Promote an institutional culture of silence about mental health issues among students and staff; and
- Address a lack of awareness, or false information, about reasonable accommodations and concessions for students with mental health issues.
The Adapt IT Education and Syked partnership will arm institutions of higher learning with the technology they need to prioritise the mental health and wellness of their student populations and create a welcoming environment in which both the institution and the student population can normalise mental health conversations.
Adapt IT is a South African company and a member of Volaris Group Inc. – a subsidiary of Constellation Software Inc. (CSI) a listed company on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Adapt IT is a Level 1 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) contributor that provides leading specialised software and digitally-led business solutions that assist clients across targeted industries to Achieve more by improving their customer experience, core business operations, business administration, enterprise resource planning and public service delivery. To learn more about Adapt IT, visit: www.adaptit.com or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
Syked is an online wellness company with a wide database of practitioners that focus on counselling clients in the comfort of their homes over a secure video platform. The comprehensive platform empowers students to manage their mental health journey and further enables them to access online counselling services privately, safely, and conveniently.
Executive Manager: Business Development
(+27) 010 494 0000
Chief Executive Officer: Syked
+27 65 729 9214