Cumberland County Schools' new app Alongside provides mental health support to students

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Friday, February 16, 2024
Cumberland County Schools' app provides youth mental health support
Within the app, students have access to Kiwi the Llama, an AI Chatbot, which provides 24/7 mental health support.

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Cumberland County Schools released its mental health support app called Alongside, which is tailored for students in grades 6 through 12.

Within the app with their parents' permission, students have access to Kiwi the Llama, an AI Chatbot by doctoral clinicians. It provides 24/7 mental health support.

Cumberland County Schools Superintendent Dr. Marvin Connelly, Jr., said this is a resource that leverages technology to provide immediate access to support for mental health.

Alongside represents the district's commitment to fostering a supportive learning environment for every student, he said.

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The new app is aligned with Cumberland County School's Strategic Priority 3, Exceptional Environment. It "focuses on integrating resources, facilities, and staff to maintain a safe, inviting learning environment," according to the press release.

"There will always be a need for student support staff, such as counselors, social workers and psychologists - there is no replacement for human connection," Dr. Natasha Scott, the executive director of Student Services, said. "The Alongside app complements our existing resources and underscores our dedication to providing comprehensive support for our students."

Alongside's key features also include developmental tools and safe escalation protocols.

The app's CEO Jay Goyal said Alongside was founded to partner with schools to combat the youth mental health crisis.