Photo by Lesley Lutes

Many post-secondary students suffer from mental health related issues and are often times unable to receive the help required to address these issues. This is going to change beginning from spring onwards as the Province has devised a free mental health counselling and referral service for all post-secondary students throughout British Columbia.

This referral service seeks to provide 24/7 mental health services to any post-secondary student who requires it. With this service, students will be able to receive help online or over the phone. This service also intends to provide more accessibility to both on-campus and community resources and is inclusive of both domestic and international post-secondary students in British Columbia.

The institution tasked with creating and operating this referral service is Morneau Shepell. Morneau Shepell is well known for being one of the largest clinical networks in Canada. They have delivered services to over 20,000 organizations world-wide and more than 200 post-secondary institutions across North America through its student support programs.

This development of this referral service follows after high demands for improved mental health services for post-secondary students. Today, suicide is one of the leading causes of death among students to which immediate attention must be focused.

In a recent statement released by the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, she states “Mental health is an issue our government takes seriously. Post-secondary students have told me there is a gap in mental health 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.”

Improving mental health services in schools is an essential part of the Government of British Columbia’s plan to provide better care for individuals with mental health disorders or addictions in all parts of the province.