Akarsh Balaji

Date of Award


First Advisor

Jackson Liscombe

Second Advisor

Anne O'Dwyer


In this thesis, I develop a discourse around the mental health of adolescents and emerging adults, with the objective to design a mobile application that can attend to the needs of college students in this age group. I investigate the issues faced by college students across the United States and the services that are available to help students mitigate the worries that subsequently arise. Thus it becomes important to examine whether students are aware of such services and, if so, how often students avail themselves of these services. After a thorough overview of the aforementioned topics, I review several of the existing successful mental health applications on the market in order to better understand tried and trusted features that I could possibly incorporate in my proposed application. Following this, I look at the existing models that exist for developing a successful mental health application and posit that a new application pursuing these guidelines may alleviate many of the struggles students face in reaching out for support. Consequently, I propose a new application and explain the ideas behind its development, going into detail about the features the application would include. The thesis concludes with dialogue about the COVID-19 pandemic and the requisite emergence of online tools to support college communities around the world.

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