The opportunity

Student mental health is in crisis on both sides of the Atlantic. Colleges and universities across the UK and the US are struggling to keep up with demand for support, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In cutting-edge work exploring tech-enabled innovations in student mental health, Alphabet’s moonshot factory, X, turned to Shift to understand users’ perspectives and how new tech might improve their experiences.

We can hire more and more counsellors, but it’s like putting a funnel into the end of a firehose.

Student Mental Health Researcher

Our response

We conducted in-depth user research with 128 students and 60 clinicians from colleges and universities in the UK and the US. Through a survey, online diaries and interviews, we explored the challenges facing college mental health systems and opportunities for data-driven innovation.


With special thanks to researchers Amelia Woods, Brynn Rubinstein and Freya El Baz.


Empowering students and clinicians with mental health data

December 15, 2020

In-depth user research exploring the experiences and perspectives of college students and clinicians around opportunities for mental health innovation.



X is Alphabet's Moonshot Factory. X invents and launches radical new technologies to solve some of the world's hardest problems.