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Advanced Education, Skills and Training

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

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Advanced Education, Skills and Training

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

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

Backgrounders

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.”

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.

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