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

Active transportation gets easier in Kelowna

Skateboards, scooters to share roadways with cyclists following bylaw update

Starbucks gets Kelowna councillors seal of approval

New coffee shop to open in Taco Time building

Survive an Apocalypse in Kelowna with this virtual game

Apocolypse Made Easy is an interactive online survival game

RCMP spike belts help nab alleged Okanagan truck thieves

RCMP arrested two Kelowna men who attempted to evade two spike belts

Raptors announcer credited with calming massive crowd after shooting

Matt Devlin, the Raptors’ play-by-play announcer since 2008, was praised for preventing panic from spreading

Sexting teens at risk of harms including depression, substance use: study

Use of alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana were also found to be associated with sexting

Deadline for cabinet to decide future of Trans Mountain expansion is today

International Trade Minister Jim Carr described the decision as ‘very significant’

Rascal Flatts extend summer tour to the South Okanagan

Rascal Flatts create a Forever Summer Playlist tour extending it into the fall

Mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of B.C. inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused B.C. cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Most Read