BC government to provide 24/7 mental health support to post-secondary students

Jan 30 2020, 9:14 am

The Province has announced that a free mental health counselling and referral service will soon be offered to post-secondary students across British Columbia.

The service will be developed by Morneau Shepell, a Toronto-based human resources and technology company. A statement from the provincial government explains that they will create and run the service 24/7 to post-secondary students at both public and private institutions.

“The company will provide on-demand, immediate counselling and referral support to almost half a million students in BC’s public and private post-secondary institutions,” reads a release.

Morneau Shepell’s program is meant to be accessible to all students regardless of whether they’re rural, urban, domestic, international, full-time, or part-time. BC’s Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills, and Training will seek input from students and post-secondary institutions on the design of the service, with the goal of launching before Spring 2020.

The government says that Morneau Shepell “administers the largest clinical network in Canada” and currently services more than 3,800 clients in BC and over 200 post-secondary institutions in North America. The three-year contract has a budget of $1.5 million per year.

“Many students don’t come forward and ask for the help they need because of the stigma that still surrounds mental health issues,” says Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions in a statement. “This service will meet young people where they are at and provide them immediate access to someone to talk to, without shame or judgement.”