Students walking across university campus. (Wikimedia Commons)

B.C. to provide 24/7 counselling for post-secondary students

The project will look to include phone, online chat, text and email components

The B.C. government is working on a 24/7 counselling service for post-secondary students.

The Ministry of Advanced Education announced Wednesday that it posted a notice of planned procurement on BC Bid, and that a competitive process would be posted in the days ahead.

The project will look to include phone, online chat, text and email components.

There is currently no province-wide resource to provide post-secondary students with mental health support, and schools are often unable to offer after-hours access to such services.

“The use of virtual technology would enable young people from all parts of the province to ask for help once and get help fast,” said Mental Health Minister Judy Darcy.

The project stems from research showing that post-secondary students aged 15 to 24 are more likely to report mental illness or substance use problems than any other age group.

According to a 2016 National College Health Association survey, 44 per cent of Canadian students reported feeling “so depressed it was difficult to function” within the previous year, while 13 per cent said they had seriously considered suicide.

A further two per cent reported they had attempted suicide, while 18 per cent said they were diagnosed or treated by a professional for anxiety.

“Adjusting to a new environment, learning to balance classes with new jobs, new friendships and relationships can be challenging for students who may be living away from home for the first time, far from friends and family,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.

“Whether mild or severe, mental-health concerns are very real among post-secondary students who have been calling for action to this important issue on- and off-campus.”

Resources currently available can be found on the government’s website.

If you or anyone you know needs support for depression or suicide-related mental health problems, call the Canadian Assistance in Suicide Prevention 24/7 hotline at 1-888-353-2273.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

RED resort announces new ski lift

Topping lift will add new ski area to resort, reduce bottleneck on Motherload chair

Paramedics union raises alarm over spike in out-of-service ambulances

Staffing shortages affecting service levels in Kootenays

Kim Johnson retires from rec department

Johnson had worked at Grand Forks Recreation Department for 25 years

COLUMN: 2018 second-largest on record for food bank

Boundary Community Food Bank added 109 new clients last year

Local students raise salmon in new program

The program typically runs from December to June

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Most Read