(files by Catherine Garrett-MYPGNow)
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues across BC, the provincial government is offering students in post-secondary schools extra mental health support.
The “Here To Talk” program will be available to all post-secondary students in BC, regardless of school, program type, or status.
The Provincial Government has designated $1.5m a year for the next 3 years for this program.
“Until now, post-secondary students have never had access to 24/7 provincewide mental-health support services,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.
“Students advocated for years to fill the gap in available mental-health counselling services in British Columbia. Over the past several months, we’ve been working together to develop this new free service. With the advent of COVID-19 and the increased stress it puts on students, we doubled down to get students the supports they so desperately need. I’m very excited to say that Here2Talk is now available for all 555,000 post-secondary students registered across B.C.”
Both part and full-time students can access this service anonymously and remotely 24/7 by app, phone, and web.
“For too long, mental health care was an afterthought in B.C., and many post-secondary students weren’t able to access the help they needed. Here2Talk is changing that,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.
“Now every student can access supports 24/7 without stigma or judgment – and it’s free because access to mental health care shouldn’t depend on the size of your bank account.”
The app, operated by Morneau Shepell, used feedback from students across the province in its production.
Chat sessions with a trained counsellor can be accessed by downloading the Here2Talk app or visiting: here2talk.ca
Students can speak to a counsellor by phone, toll-free at 1 877 857-3397 or direct 604 642-5212.
Students calling from outside Canada can dial 1 604 642-5212.