Here2Talk provides mental-health care for students this winter

February 16, 2022 at 2:43 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Free mental-health supports are available 24 hours a day for B.C.’s post-secondary students who may be coping with anxiety, depression and other concerns.

Here2Talk is a virtual counselling service that provides immediate mental-health support to students via the downloadable Here2Talk app, over the phone, or through online chat sessions.

“Post-secondary students continue to face uncertainties and challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic and Here2Talk is available to help,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “We remain committed to ensuring post-secondary communities are well supported and well informed on mental health, so we’ve reintroduced the provincewide Here2Talk campaign this winter to remind students that they are not alone. Here2talk counsellors are ready and waiting to provide free, confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We all need help sometimes. If you need support, reach out to someone.”

Here2Talk is available to all part- and full-time students registered in a B.C. college, university, institute or trades program, whether they are in Canada or abroad. It aims to supplement any services students may already be accessing through their school or community.

The service is available throughout the year for single-session counselling.

“Students have shouldered an immense weight during the pandemic,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “More than ever, it is vital that students are able to access mental-health support when and how they need it. Tell your friends, and anyone who could use someone to talk to, that Here2talk is available 24/7 to help them navigate life’s challenges.”

This year, Here2Talk has placed an added focus on cultural inclusivity and representation to reach more cultural spaces within B.C.’s student population and to inform more learners about mental-health supports. This focus is reflected in the campaign’s new digital advertisements and on the Here2Talk website where information and services are available in multiple languages.

“We’ve seen a drastic rise in post-secondary students seeking support for their mental health due to day-to-day challenges and the ever-changing conditions caused by the pandemic,” said Barb Veder, vice-president, chief enterprise clinician and integrated health solutions clinical services lead at LifeWorks. Here2Talk counsellors at LifeWorks are available 24/7 via phone or chat to support students asking for help, wherever, whenever.”

As the service is promoted through the month of February and beginning of March, shareable content will be distributed to all public as well as private colleges and universities to ensure all students throughout British Columbia know that help is accessible.

“Post-secondary school can be both an exciting and stressful time for students,” said Jonathan Morris, CEO, Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division. “We know that many students are dealing with extra stressors this year, and we also know it’s important to have a continuum of care when it comes to mental-health support. Giving students options for where to reach out when they need help can help ensure they feel supported as they navigate challenges.”

Quick Facts:

  • Between April 2020 and December 2021, Here2Talk support services were accessed more than 17,200 times.
  • Students continue to use the chat feature most often, accessing it 73% of the time and the phone feature 27% of the time.
  • Since 2020, students’ satisfaction with the service has remained high:
    • 93% say it provided them with the support and tools they needed.
    • 73% said they would refer a friend or classmate to Here2Talk.

Learn More:

Chat sessions with a trained counsellor can be accessed by downloading the Here2Talk app or visiting: https://here2talk.ca/main

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 (international calling charges may apply).

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