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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke temporary homeless shelter packs up early

Occupants to leave facility by June 22

Greater Victoria transit usage sees gradual rise

Ridership still down 66 per cent compared to last year

Saanich teen launches free online tutoring website

School Helpers matches volunteer tutors with students

Rock painting gains popularity on Vancouver Island

Facebook groups formed for people to share ideas, gift painted rocks

VIDEO: View Royal resident spots cougar in nearby backyard

B.C. Conservation notified about early Thursday morning sighting

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

North Island recreation camping site closed due to vandalism

Damage happens every year, forcing site manager to reallocate improvement budget to repairs

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Man found dead in his tent at Island homeless camp

Facebook posts tell of personal struggles and attempts to stay clean and sober

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Most Read