Published: 3 Minutes read

How University of Galway is using AI to Support Student Mental Health

Students walking through campus buidling

Students at the University of Galway (Formerly NUI Galway) use an AI-powered virtual assistant named Cara (meaning friend, in Irish) to reach out to in real-time when feeling isolated, lonely, or depressed. Galvia built Cara to help the University provide effective student engagement and safeguard student mental health by providing 24/7/365 real-time support to student queries, directing students to counselling and support services instantly.

In a video testimonial, Josephine Walsh, Head of Student Engagement Projects at the University of Galway recounts how the University is discovering that AI is an integral part of a multifaceted solution in addressing rising student mental health and well-being issues both on and off campus.

“It’s a great comfort to us to know that students who have those needs and choose to tell Cara, that Cara will respond in an appropriate way, directing them to counselling services, encouraging them to reach out, getting them the help or connections they need.”

How AI is supporting student mental health

A 2021 survey conducted by the University of Galway found that over a third of students have experienced some form of depression and anxiety over the past year. Feelings of disconnection and isolation were widespread among the 5,000 surveyed.

Cara, which can be accessed on the web and mobile, provides answers to thousands of frequently asked questions covering campus facilities and student mental health support services as well as other day-to-day services.

The AI-powered platform continually learns, uses predictive analytics to identify trends in student behaviour, and provides enhanced data and analysis for decision-making and safeguarding student mental health. 

How our AI is supporting staff morale

Cara is also a valuable support to the University staff. Its automation features ensure that the technology does the heavy lifting, answering frequently asked questions and reducing mundane tasks by more than 40%. Staff now have the freedom and time to focus on what matters most – delivering excellent and personalised student care.

Watch this testimonial, Finger on the Pulse: How NUI Galway uses decision intelligence to transform student engagement, to learn how Galvia saved more than 500 staff hours for NUI Galway over a six-month period.

“Cara sits well with the core values of the University;” concludes Walsh, “Excellence, Openness, Sustainability, Respect. Cara delivers all this for us and as we say to our students – this is the University of You.”

At Galvia our mission is to make AI-powered solutions accessible to everyone. 

Request a demo today to find out how our platform can transform student services within your institution, improve student mental health and change how you engage with students for the better. Download our free guide on Getting Started with AI Student Engagement.

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