College students today are under immense amounts of pressure. We graduate high school and are suddenly catapulted into a world where our grades and decisions actually do determine the success of our futures. Routine tasks such as eating three meals a day become difficult to fit into our schedules. Life becomes the ultimate balancing act and sometimes, we fall down.
What happens then? Many students shy away from seeing a therapist due to the stigmas with which they are associated. And not only that, but seeing a specialist off-campus costs money and even more inconvenient, time.
Glen Moriarty took all of this into consideration when he created the ultimate service to aid struggling students. It’s an app called “7 Cups of Tea” and it might just save our lives. “7 Cups” is a peer to peer emotional support system that matches people who need to talk with caring, trained, non-judgmental listeners. It’s completely anonymous and completely free.
“Therapy can be intimidating, inconvenient and expensive,” Moriarty said. “I thought we should create an alternative where anyone – regardless of time, language, or country – can open an app or visit our site and receive support, be listened to by a caring and non-judgmental person. We now have 85,000 supportive conversations a week and over 70,000 listeners from 150 countries providing support in over 130 languages.”
The process is incredibly easy and user-friendly. Upon downloading the app, users can view all the available listeners at the given time, take part in group conversations and even become a listener themselves, an act that Moriarty says has immense mental benefits on its own.
The idea came to Moriarty while brainstorming behaviors that had not yet moved online. While his therapist, also conveniently his wife, listened to him vent about a personal problem, the answer struck him – listening. Real, quality listening was not a service readily available online and it often happens to be what people need most. This revelation led to the creation of “7 Cups:” the 24/7, always accessible listening service. When asked about the success he has observed thus far with his app, Moriarty responded with a note he received from a college student praising the app, thanking him not for fixing any of her problems, but for providing her with a medium through which to talk about them.
“7 Cups” exists not to solve problems, but to help students get through their daily struggles by simply being there to listen. It’s so easy to feel isolated and alone in the world and Moriarty wants students and people in general to know that this is far from the truth – that at any given time, 30 percent of the people on the planet are struggling. “7 Cups” fosters a supportive community of people and students helping one another get through the daily hardships of life.
“Take things one step at a time. If you find yourself in a really tough spot, please seek out a mental health professional on campus or off campus,” Moriarty said. “Know that we all struggle. We all go through hard times and you are not at all unusual or alone. It can be really hard to take that first step, but every step counts. We are here to support you, so reach out to us at 7 cups if you’d like some encouragement. We’ve got your back.”
For more information, go to the “7 Cups of Tea” website, found below, or download the app to see for yourself.