The Canadian province of British Columbia is looking at new ways to make it easier for post secondary students to access mental health services.
The service, which is due to launch this spring will give students access to trained counselors through a phone line, online chat, and a phone app at any time of day, and during any day of the week.
Post-sec students have told me there is a gap in mental health supports services. We are responding to this call to action today, by creating a place for students to reach out for help 24/7 #MentalHealthMatters #ReachOut @DarcyJudy https://t.co/0Whvgh6lnF
— Melanie Mark (@melaniejmark) January 28, 2020
“Mental health is an issue our government takes seriously,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training said in a press release. “Post-secondary students have told me there is a gap in mental health support services. The stress students feel at university or college can be significant, and can lead to serious isolation and potentially deadly outcomes.
All post secondary students from all around the province including part-time, full time, and international students regardless of where they’re attending school, will have access to these services, free of charge.
The British Colombian government has contracted Morneau Shepell for three years to run the program, with a budget of $1.5 million each year.
Morneau Shepell is a company that has been working in mental health solutions since 1974. After a procurement process, they were chosen by a committee that consisted of representatives from post secondary institutions, students and the Canadian Mental Health Association of Victoria.