Students from all across Atlantic Canada participated in the MoodCheck Challenge from March 14-25. Moodcheck is an App, and for two weeks, students from 10 universities used the App to track their moods. Twice a day, at random times, their phone prompted them to check in and enter their mood, the activity they were taking part in, where they were and who they were with.
Students gained points each time they checked in on the app, and gained bonus points the more often they checked in. The aim of the challenge was to motivate students to be mindful about how the things they do affect the way they feel. This increased awareness is known to be a strong predictor of improved mental health and well-being.
More than 1000 MUN students racked up 142,093 points to win their university first place in the MoodCheck Challenge. The reward is a $1,500 donation towards a campus mental wellness initiative.
What Makes Us Happy? Not Homework …
Data from the challenge revealed that students felt best when they were completing duties, such as working or doing chores (23%), participating in quiet activities, such as relaxing or enjoying the outdoors (18%), or using technology, such as playing a game or listening to music (19%).
Students felt the worst when they were worrying or feeling sick (35%), completing duties such as studying or homework (29%), or participating in quiet activities such as thinking or reading (13%).
“This challenge has shown us that students are ready to take ownership of their mental health,” said Dr. Peter Cornish, director, Student Wellness and Counselling Centre, Memorial University. “That’s what this is all about. The online environment is an exciting new space to make tools available to our university communities.”
The MoodCheck app is part of a larger program called WellTrack, which was developed by Dr. Darren Piercey, a psychology professor at the University of New Brunswick. The program provides students with a number of online tools and resources aimed at helping them manage stress, anxiety, depression and some phobias.