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HomeNews100 Mile HouseNew counselling service to support post-secondary students over the holidays

New counselling service to support post-secondary students over the holidays

Over the holidays, a new 24/7 counselling service called will be helping post-secondary students.

Here2Talk is a free mental health counselling and referral service that provides year-round, 24-7 mental health support services for all B.C. post-secondary students regardless of whether they live in Canada or abroad.

Students who are feeling depressed, stressed or anxious can get support whenever they need it and as often as needed.

Jonny Morris, the CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association, B.C. Division said that the service has already been used by over 5,000 students since its inception earlier this year.

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“We’ve been asked to scale up a number of our services during the pandemic; adding more help to the system is important so that more people can have access to that help and get it quickly,” he said. “From our perspective, it’s really designed to complement the existing services and add to the system, and it’s really important.”

It’s a single session model; the councillor at the other end of the line is going to work hard to listen closely to the experience of the student and what’s happening for them in the current moment,” he said. “They are going to work alongside that student with practical ways to cope at the moment and most importantly start a process of bridging the students if they want to, to other resources that could provide long-term support.” 

Morris said that it’s more important now than ever to have resources for students.

“At the best of times, it’s both exciting and challenging. You’re in a different environment, and you are learning new things. It’s a significant adjustment,” he said. “When you layer in what students are currently experiencing and adapting too, having to learn online, for many taking exams online, and many students are disconnected from social connections.”

“It’s absolutely important partially around the holiday season,” Morris continued. “Students may or may not be able to be with their loved ones, so adding in Here2Talk alongside other services is super important.”

Morris said that he believes even if a student doesn’t feel like they need the service, it’s something they should check out.

“They are going to have a warm and caring human voice on the other end of the line. That person is a trained councillor as well, and is well orientated to the needs,” he said. “There is a strong sense of the context from which students might be chatting or phoning in.”

Students can access chat sessions with a trained counsellor online at Here2Talk or by downloading the free Here2Talk app, or they can speak to a counsellor by phone by calling 1-877 857-3397 or direct at 1-604-642-5212.

 

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