Mental health supports for post-secondary students

AS post-secondary students hit the books this fall, the Here2Talk mental-health counselling and referral service is available 24/7 to provide support to students who need it.

“We know that students beginning or returning to their post-secondary studies this fall may be feeling apprehensive about many things – including all the normal concerns like course work, relationships, employment on top of navigating the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, on Tuesday. “I want anyone who feels alone or isolated or overwhelmed to know that it is OK to not be OK and that there is help for you when you need it, 24/7.”

The free mental-health counselling and referral service launched in April 2020. It provides 24/7 mental-health services for all B.C. post-secondary students regardless of where they are studying, be it from their homes or face to face in classrooms.

Students can access chat sessions with a trained counsellor at here2talk.ca or by downloading the Here2Talk app. Students can also speak to a counsellor by phone (toll free 1 877 857-3397 or direct 604 642-5212). Students calling from outside Canada can dial +1 604 642-5212 (international calling charges may apply).

Here2Talk is in addition to other supports available on campus and in the community, including virtual mental-health supports available on the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions’ website.

“Our government is making sure British Columbians can access the mental-health supports they need and deserve, when and where they need it,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Students experience high levels of stress and anxiety compounded by the pandemic. Here2Talk is a 24/7, free service that is available to post-secondary students across the province no matter where they are – because access to mental health services shouldn’t depend on where you live or the size of your bank account.”

Quick Facts

* Hundreds of students around B.C. provided feedback and ideas that were used to develop and tailor Here2Talk to deliver the kind of help students felt they needed.

* The on-demand service, operated by Morneau Shepell, supports students dealing with challenges such as depression, anxiety, loneliness, pressure to perform, crises, racism and relationships.

* Counsellors can also refer students to local resources in their communities.

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