Menu
Log in
bc career colleges association
Log in

24/7 mental health support on the way for post-secondary students

9 Feb 2020 3:15 PM | Anonymous

VICTORIA – The Province has selected Morneau Shepell to develop a free mental health counselling and referral service for post-secondary students throughout British Columbia.

After a rigorous procurement process, Morneau Shepell was chosen to create and operate a 24/7 mental health counselling and referral service for post-secondary students at all public and private post-secondary institutions in B.C. The company will provide on-demand, immediate counselling and referral support to almost half a million students in B.C.’s public and private post-secondary institutions. 

“Mental health is an issue our government takes seriously,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Post-secondary students have told me there is a gap in mental heath support services. The stress students feel at university or college can be significant, and can lead to serious isolation and potentially deadly outcomes. I am proud our government is responding to this call to action by creating a place for students to reach out for help 24/7.”

This mental health service will mean for the first time in B.C., every student – whether rural, urban, domestic, international, public, private, full-time or part-time – will have access to 24/7 services to supplement services on campus and in the community. As this provincewide program is a new service, the ministry will take the time to engage with students and post-secondary institutions on the design of the service before launch in spring 2020.

“Many students don’t come forward and ask for the help they need because of the stigma that still surrounds mental health issues,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “This service will meet young people where they are at and provide them immediate access to someone to talk to, without shame or judgement.” 

Morneau Shepell administers the largest clinical network in Canada. It has delivered mental health solutions since 1974 and services more than 20,000 organizations world-wide. Morneau Shepell supports more than 3,800 clients across all services in B.C. and more than 200 post-secondary institutions across North America, directly and via partnerships, through its student support programs.

The three-year contract has a budget of $1.5 million per year.

Improving mental health in schools is an integral part of government’s actions outlined in A Pathway to Hope, B.C.’s roadmap for making the system of mental health and addictions care better for people no matter where they live in the province.

Implementing A Pathway to Hope is a shared priority with the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

 
Contact:
 
Sean Leslie
Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
sean.leslie@gov.bc.ca
250 356-8485
 

 
Province of British Columbia
BACKGROUNDER 1
For Immediate Release
2020AEST0007-000133
Jan. 28, 2020
Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
What people are saying about B.C.’s post-secondary mental health supports

Jonny Morris, CEO, Canadian Mental Health Association BC 

“Going on to college and university can be an exciting transition that can also bring big changes and intense challenges for students. Post-secondary students who need assistance might not always be comfortable reaching out, might not know where to turn, or services might not always be accessible. This service stands to increase access to confidential student support provincewide, while linking to existing services on campuses and in community.”

Eleanor Vannan, student, University of Victoria, and campaigns co-ordinator, BC Federation of Students 

“I am really looking forward to the launch of this portal because access to a resource like this will help students who suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions. Being able to get the extra support goes a long way into creating the right balance in students’ lives so we can study with less stress.”

Chris Rogerson, director of student success, British Columbia Institute of Technology, and chair, B.C. Council of Senior Student Affairs Leaders 

“Post-secondary education is a journey with many ups and downs for students who may occasionally encounter personal or professional situations that can add increased challenges to their busy studies. When students encounter these challenges, early access to supports and interventions can give students the help they need to address the challenge, prevent it from getting bigger, and ultimately be able to continue and focus on their post-secondary goals. We often talk about student supports as part of a scaffolding that helps them to thrive while they complete their post-secondary studies. This new 24/7 service is a great addition to the wraparound supports that will be available to all students and will greatly benefit students’ long-term health and well-being.”

Santa Ono, president and vice-chancellor, University of British Columbia 

“Mental health issues affect students in every year of study, from first year through graduate school, and early identification and prompt treatment are critical. This new service will complement our existing mental health supports, ensuring students have access to resources they need to thrive and succeed in their post-secondary studies.”

Clare Hart, northwest director, specialized services, Northern Health 

“Post-secondary students in rural or remote communities experience the same stresses and anxieties as students in urban centres. Knowing they have mental health counselling and referral support dedicated to their needs, regardless of where their studies take them, can make a huge difference in the lives of students who need access to counselling services or just someone to talk to in a time of crisis.”

 
Contact:
 
Sean Leslie
Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
sean.leslie@gov.bc.ca
250 356-8485
 

 
Province of British Columbia
BACKGROUNDER 2
For Immediate Release
2020AEST0007-000133
Jan. 28, 2020
Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
Facts about B.C.’s post-secondary mental health supports
  • The free 24/7 mental health support service will be available to approximately 490,000 students at 25 public and approximately 340 private post-secondary institutions in B.C.
  • There is currently no provincewide resource available to students. Where there are resources, students often lack after-hours access.
  • Post-secondary students aged 15-24 are more likely to report mental illness and/or substance use disorders than other age groups.
  • The 2016 National College Health Association survey of Canadian post-secondary students found a significant number of students are experiencing mental health challenges:
    • 44.4% of surveyed students reported that at some point in the previous 12 months they felt “so depressed it was difficult to function.”
    • 18.4% reported being “diagnosed or treated by a professional” for anxiety.
    • 13% had seriously considered suicide.
    • 2.1% had attempted suicide.
  • The service will be completely confidential and student privacy will be protected.
 
Contact:
 
Sean Leslie
Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
sean.leslie@gov.bc.ca
250 356-8485
 

 



The BC Career Colleges Association was established in 1977 to promote and support post secondary schools, stakeholders, students and all interested parties involved in private post-secondary education and training in BC.

Call 604-328-7512

Email: info@bccca.com

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software