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Western Kentucky University is excited to offer students, faculty, and staff FREE access to TAO Connect, an evidence-based, self-help digital platform designed to make behavioral health therapy more accessible and effective. The Commonwealth of Kentucky reserved approximately one third of its first round of GEER funding (Section 18002-CARES Act) for postsecondary institutions to help campuses respond to the impact of the pandemic on their students, faculty, and staff. A portion of the GEER Postsecondary Emergency Reserve Funds has been used to establish a state contract with Therapy Assistance Online (TAO), a suite of online tools for education, interaction, accountability, and progress assessment to facilitate effective behavioral health treatment and life skills education. Funding for TAO comes from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. As a result of this partnership, the entire WKU community – including students, faculty, and staff – now have 24/7 FREE access to TAO Connect’s personalized self-guided mental health platform.


TAO Connect’s V3 platform contains more than 150 interactive sessions on anxiety, overcoming loneliness, depression, sleep, sexual violence, financial stress, substance abuse, communication, burnout, and more. Students, faculty and staff can also access TAO Connect’s AI chatbot, TAO Assistant, which guides users through the platform to find a plan specific to the individual’s mental health needs. In addition, various mental health exercises, such as a library of mindfulness meditations, exercises, and journal prompts are available on the platform. “As students enter another tumultuous and unusual school year, having accessible mental health services is critical," said Dr. Sherry Benton, chief science officer and founder of TAO Connect. “Our platform provides users with an easy-to-use program they can navigate at their own pace at any time they need assistance with their mental health.”


TAO’s tools can be used as self-directed, minimally supported help. However, TAO is not a replacement for professional mental health counseling provided by the WKU Counseling Center (for WKU students) or the Employee Assistance program (for WKU faculty and staff). If a student would like to consider mental health counseling, please call the WKU Counseling Center at 270-745-3159 to set up an appointment. Additionally, this is not an eligible activity through the TopLife Employee Wellness program (Vitality).


To start accessing TAO:

  1. To register, click this link:  https://us.taoconnect.org/register.
  2. Enter your first name
  3. Enter your last name
  4. Enter your WKU email address
    1. Once you enter your WKU email address, this message will pop up below:
      1. This email address matches Western Kentucky University
    2. You DO NOT need to enter an Enrollment Key
    3. Click SIGN ME UP


Once you complete Steps 1-6 above, you will receive an email. Click on “Verify Email Address” and you will be directed to TAO to log in with your WKU email. You will then be directed to the TAO site, after you go through the Single Sign on page for WKU. Start using TAO’s more than 150 interactive sessions on anxiety, depression, sleep, sexual violence, substance abuse, and more.


If you would like more information on TAO, start with this video: https://vimeo.com/436916526


For more information about how to use TAO, please feel free to attend a webinar about the “Basics of TAO” hosted by Co-Chairs of the TAO Implementation: Dr. Peggy Crowe (Director of the Counseling Center & Student Accessibility Resource Center) and Mr. Jimmie Martin (Director of Student Support Services, Disabilities – a TRiO Program) scheduled for Tuesday, October 12th at 10:00 AM (CST). The webinar can be accessed by clicking on this link: https://wku.zoom.us/j/93453840742. If you are not able to attend, the webinar will be recorded and accessible via the WKU Counseling Center website.


If you have any questions about TAO, please contact the Co-Chairs Dr. Peggy Crowe (peggy.crowe@wku.edu) or Mr. Jimmie Martin (jimmie.martin@wku.edu).


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 Last Modified 10/14/21