Oklahoma Technical School Turns to Qualtrics to Give Students Easier Access to Mental Health Services
Last updated: March 22, 2022
QR codes on social media sites allow teens to instantly connect with school counselors; number of requests increased 800% within weeks of implementation
PROVO, Utah and SEATTLE, March 22, 2022 – An Oklahoma technical school for teens and adults dramatically increased student use of mental health services after implementing a QR-code based system powered by Qualtrics (NASDAQ: XM).
The application, available to students through Canadian Valley Technical School’s social media sites, allows students to scan a QR code in private, answer a very short series of questions, and then instantly be connected to a school counselor. The entire process, which is designed to lessen the number of students who might otherwise suffer in silence, takes less than two minutes.
School counselor Jamie Jones remembers being struck by just how quickly it worked. Within hours after going live with her school’s new technology-based school counseling service, she had already received an inquiry from a struggling student.
“It was like ‘Whoa. Here y’all are. There you are,’” said Jamie Jones, lead mental health counselor for CV Tech, a free high-tech educational institution that serves hundreds of high school students in Canadian and Grady counties in Oklahoma. “It was like the floodgates were opened. We were getting 7 or 8 times the number of inquiries we normally would receive – inquiries that otherwise might not have happened.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in seven 10-19-year-olds experiences a mental disorder. Depression, anxiety and behavioral disorders are among the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents, and suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15-19 year-olds. The pandemic added to the pre-existing challenges that America’s youth faced, according to the U.S Surgeon General. Globally, WHO estimates that 1 in 7 (14%) of 10-19 year-olds experience mental health conditions, yet these remain largely unrecognized and untreated.
“The consequences of failing to address adolescent mental health conditions extend to adulthood, impairing both physical and mental health and limiting opportunities to lead fulfilling lives as adults,” WHO reports.
The Qualtrics system used by CV Tech is designed to make it as easy as possible for struggling students to get the help they need when they need it. One of the options in the short survey is for the student to mark an inquiry as urgent so that it’s automatically shared with the entire CV Tech counseling team. That way, if one counselor is out of office or working with another student, the teen that needs urgent help doesn’t accidentally fall through the cracks.
“I get the notifications immediately in an email, and it includes a link that takes me directly to the spreadsheet with their answers to a few questions,” said Christie Stevens, another counselor at the school. “It shows me exactly how they answered – sadness, anxiety, depression – and if they would like to be contacted and how. Most of them want a text, so I’m able to text them within minutes.
“It has turned out so much better than we could have ever imagined,” Stevens added. “The ability for them to mark ‘urgent’ can mean the difference between a kid getting instant help or getting no help at all at a time when they might really need it.”
CV Tech chose the Qualtrics Core XM platform for its ability to customize surveys and automatically skip questions that are irrelevant to the student. This prevents frustration, and keeps the user engaged, said Omar Garriott, Global Head of Education at Qualtrics.
“What we’ve been able to do for CV Tech is tailor the experience to fit the needs of a unique audience – teens and young adults,” Garriott said. “Teens are not going to fill out a long form of questions. We worked with the CV Tech team to develop a short, simple survey that students can complete through social media, on their phones. It provides the information needed by counselors but is still palpable to a young audience.”
The next step for CV Tech is to expand the QR technology outside of social media and to new areas like bathroom stalls as students return to in-person learning. In addition to providing survey responses, Qualtrics provides CV Tech with trends, insights and opportunities based on responses.
“I’ve had more students get in touch with me through the QR code than any other way,” said Jones, “so this is clearly a solution that resonates with them. And the intuitive data we’ve received from Qualtrics shows us where there are additional opportunities for us to help students.
“I am fairly certain that most of the students that have scanned the QR code and sought help would not have sought help in another way,” Jones continued. “I honestly believe it’s been life saving in many ways.”
Qualtrics, the leader and creator of the experience management (XM) category, is changing the way organizations manage and improve the four core experiences of business—customer, employee, product and brand. Over 16,750 organizations around the world use Qualtrics to listen, understand and take action on experience data (X-data™)—the beliefs, emotions and intentions that tell you why things are happening, and what to do about it. The Qualtrics XM Platform™ is a system of action that helps businesses attract customers who stay longer and buy more, engage employees who build a positive culture, develop breakthrough products people love and build a brand people are passionate about. To learn more, please visit qualtrics.com.