October 10, 2023

How Can an LMS Support Student Wellbeing?*

Institutions leveraging peer support can drive engagement through Blackboard Learn

As we celebrate World Mental Health Day and rally around this year’s theme, “mental health is a human right,” it is important to consider how to provide support to students in a way that is safe and inclusive, and available to the whole student population. Our partner, Togetherall, offers a clinically moderated online peer-to-peer support community that empowers students to seek and provide support anonymously.

A 2022 study by the Marie Christie Institute and the Ruderman Foundation, “Peer Programs in College Student Mental Health,” shows that peer support has become an essential component in implementing population-level mental health services to students, and the demand for such support is increasing steadily. The study found that many students do not feel comfortable seeking help through a counselor, while others may need support that does not require that of a clinician. There are often also waiting lists for counselors and an overflow of demand for support. Peer support services help bridge this gap, especially when the service is accessible 24/7.

The same study finds that confiding in a peer can increase a student’s comfort level in seeking counseling, as a figure of authority or “mental health professional” is taken out of the equation. According to data collected by the Center for Collegiate Mental Health, we also know that there are significant mental health treatment gaps in underserved populations, such as among students identifying as Black, Indigenous, or a person of color (BIPOC). While continuing to dismantle these barriers and inequities, it is important to recognize that alternative services–like peer support–alongside traditional counseling are vital in reaching students where they are. On average, 53% of Togetherall users self-identify as BIPOC and 80% of users report that they are not using other support services on campus. Access to programs or services like Togetherall’s online peer-to-peer support community is the first step to success, which is often the most difficult barrier to overcome. This is where Blackboard® Learn comes in: to reach the broadest group of students possible, including those “harder-to-reach” students.

Mass Communication Strategies

To date, we’ve seen interest in Togetherall increase when institutions utilize their learning management systems (LMS), like Blackboard Learn, to send announcements to their students at key points of the semester about the availability of Togetherall as a service. It makes sense, right? We do not always know if students will attend events or see social media posts, but we do know that they should be logging in to Blackboard Learn on a frequent and regular basis, and at various times during the day and night. On average, institutions that implement cadenced LMS messaging see students register with Togetherall at a monthly rate that is 3-4 times higher than the average number of registrations with Togetherall without such messaging.

Because Togetherall is a scalable service, it is well-equipped to navigate registration spikes when mass promotional efforts go out. This is not always true of other services like counseling centers, where the number of available staff for appointments remains fixed.

In short, utilizing a population-level service, like Togetherall’s peer support community, in conjunction with messaging on Blackboard Learn, can be a successful strategy in making “mental health a human right.”

Learn How Togetherall Can Support Your Students

Togetherall is committed to supporting its members’ mental health by providing a convenient, accessible place for students to connect anonymously about lived experiences. Results from a Togetherall member survey showed that 53% of surveyed members cited the anonymity provided by the service as a main reason to join Togetherall and 47% had said Togetherall’s 24/7 accessibility was a primary factor.

To learn more about how Togetherall and Anthology can support your students’ mental health and wellbeing, contact your Anthology representative.

*Anthology does not provide mental health services and only makes the Togetherall service available to institutions and users through Blackboard Learn. The content of any messaging sent via Blackboard Learn regarding the Togetherall service is the responsibility of each institution. Anthology does not make any representations regarding Togetherall’s services and it is the responsibility of each user and institution to determine whether Togetherall’s services are appropriate for their intended purpose.

Anthology Mark


Anthology offers the largest EdTech ecosystem on a global scale, supporting over 150 million users in 80 countries. The company’s mission is to provide dynamic, data-informed experiences to the global education community so that learners and educators can achieve their goals.

Through over 60 SaaS products and services, Anthology advances learning in partnership with K-12, higher education, business and government institutions. Tapping into this unmatched portfolio of solutions, only Anthology can leverage data from across the EdTech ecosystem to create intelligent experiences that lead to better outcomes.