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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

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Cogtoolz was developed through SDSU’s Zahn Innovation Platform Launchpad. (Credit: Cogtoolz) Cogtoolz was developed through SDSU’s Zahn Innovation Platform Launchpad. (Credit: Cogtoolz)

Planning for Wellness

An SDSU entrepreneur has launched a new product to help college students manage stress.
By Beth Downing Chee

According to the American College Health Association, 58 percent of students reported that they felt overwhelming anxiety in the last year and about 35 percent were so depressed that they found it difficult to function.

As college students across the country return to school, one entrepreneur from San Diego State University is launching a product to make their lives less stressful.

Christina Holub, an adjunct assistant professor in SDSU’s Graduate School of Public Health, created Cogtoolz, a line of planners that incorporates cognitive behavior tools into day-to-day planning. The goal is to help students make wellness a priority and find balance between thoughts, emotions, and life.

“Using cognitive behavioral tools that are commonly used by counselors and therapists, Cogtoolz will help users cope with stress and anxiety by making self-care a priority,” said Holub, who earned a Ph.D in health behavior from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The Cogtoolz line of planners includes an academic planner designed specifically for college students and professionals looking to manage stress and a wellness planner with a stronger focus on self-care for those who struggle with anxiety and depression.

Cogtoolz is available in SDSU’s bookstore, as well as in the bookstores at California State University San Marcos, and University of California, San Diego. Holub hopes to eventually make the planners available in college bookstores across the country.

“One day I would like to see the same amount of attention to mental health and self-care as we already see with physical health,” Holub said. “By making cognitive behavioral tools accessible to everyone, from a public health perspective, we are working to promote education and get people talking about ways to improve mental health."

Holub developed Cogtoolz through SDSU’s Zahn Innovation Platform Launchpad, an incubator that supports SDSU innovators and allows aspiring entrepreneurs to turn dreams into viable businesses.  She is also an assistant professor in public health at CSUSM.