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

Pregnant Cariboo firefighter tries to save own house from blaze

Julia Flinton and Anthony Sellars both worked on the 2017 wildfires

Road report for Highway 20

Fog patches and slippery sections; Drive BC

Woman killed in head-on crash near Vanderhoof

RCMP say driver crossed the centre line and hit a loaded fuel tanker truck

Mining company prospecting for gold near Bella Coola

Gold discovered in alpine areas where glaciers are receding

‘Tripod’ delays access to Unist’ot’en camp

Social media rumours of cultural significance quashed, meaning police “exclusion zones” should end.

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

B.C. government extends coastal log export rules for six months

Premier John Horgan talks forest policy at loggers’ convention

B.C. pair accused of ‘honour-killing’ in India to be extradited within days

Malkit Kaur Sidhu and Surjit Singh Badesha are accused of conspiracy to commit murder

Netflix rejects request to remove Lac-Megantic images from ‘Bird Box’

At least two shows on Netflix’s Canadian platform briefly use actual footage of the 2013 tragedy

FOCUS: Canada’s revamped impaired driving law brews ‘potential for injustice’

There must be ‘trigger’ for cops to come knocking, Surrey MP says

Barack Obama to speak at Vancouver event

Former U.S. president will speak with board of trade in March

Former welfare clients still owed money, B.C. Ombudsperson says

Investigation found 2,600 people docked illegally for earning income

Prince George could get province’s second BC Cannabis Store

The first brick-and-mortar government retail location opened in Kamloops on Oct. 17

B.C. chowdery caught up in ‘rat-in-soup’ scandal to close

Crab Park Chowdery will be shutting down Jan. 20

Most Read