Posted: 2/19/20

TAMIU Program Provides University with Therapy Assistance Online (TAO)



Members of the Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) community seeking effective help with anxiety, relationship challenges, stress or other concerns that accompany today’s fast-paced life now have an online ally at their fingertips:   TAMIU has launched Therapy Assistance Online (TAO).

Rosabel Ramos, TAMIU associate director of Student Counseling and Disability Services, said TAO provides a broad spectrum of educational videos, interactive exercises, and progress measures ...all available on desktop, tablet or smartphone.

“Today’s mental health services need to be delivered in  an accessible, pro-active approach that provides resources when and where our community needs it. Like other universities across the country, we are constantly seeking resources that can help us to better deliver data-based, effective treatment.  Today, that means it’s absolutely crucial to have robust resources online that can be accessed and used anonymously 24/7. Put simply, we need to be where our users are…and that is online,” Ramos explained.

She said TAMIU researched similar programs in use by colleagues in higher education and found that many campuses in The Texas A&M University System reported positive experiences with TAO.

The TAO program, developed by a Florida psychologist who had directed the  counseling center of a university in Florida, acts as a bridge to services, helping users to move through helpful resources that are aimed at helping them to feel better.

Topics explored include calming anxiety, interpersonal relationships and communication, mood improvement, strategies for pain management, understanding stress and relaxation and others.

“Through regular assessment, TAO is able to help the user gauge their next steps. The platform provides log and journaling opportunities, responsive feedback and a messaging system that provides individualized reminders, suggestions and encouragements on what works best based on research from thousands of users,” she said.

“This really works to empower the user to really see how they are progressing. Opportunities for additional in-person counseling are always available, but many TAO users find that becoming aware of things like mindfulness practice can really make a difference in their immediate outlook,” she observed.

While the program has just launched, Ramos said that feedback received from users has been positive and she’s encouraged with participation on the new platform.

“We just launched at the beginning of the semester and we’re already seeing interest and growth in use.  Our hope is that this will continue to grow and that users will consider TAO as one more beneficial tool that can help them navigate a successful University experience here at TAMIU,” she concluded. 

For additional information, contact Ramos at 956.326.2230, email rosabel.ramos@tamiu.edu, or visit offices in the TAMIU Student Center 128.

TAMIU is celebrating its 50th Anniversary and its 25th Anniversary at its north Laredo campus throughout 2020. A dedicated website shares the University’s remarkable transformation from a hybrid upper-level University to a full doctoral degree-granting University with over 29,000 graduates worldwide that enrolls over 8,400 students. Visit the calendar of Anniversary events, explore the University’s timeline, review alumni profiles and more at tamiu.edu/50

For more on the University’s story, contact the TAMIU Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 956.326.2180, email prmis@tamiu.edu, click on tamiu.edu or visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 268.

student viewing computer

Emely Rizzi,  Student Success Mentor, checks out online opportunities at TAMIU.