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This information on this page is primarily for staff, faculty or student leaders who are seeking advice on how to support students struggling with mental health, or are looking for ways to support an environment of well-being at SFU.
If you are a staff or faculty member seeking support for your own mental health, please contact SFU's Employee Family Assistance Program (EFAP).
Together we can build a more supportive campus community.
The work you do here has an impact on the well-being of students and our community. Whether you are an instructor, a staff member, or a student leader, you are a part of the SFU community—and in your role you touch the lives of students every day.
Every decision we make in our roles can contribute to a healthy campus community. Whether it is the way we arrange our classrooms and physical spaces, the words we use when teaching a lecture, the environment we cultivate in the workplace, or the policies & processes we develop.
Connect with SFU Health Promotion
Want to learn more? The SFU Health Promotion team would love to meet with you and your team to learn about your role at SFU and discuss ways that you can build a healthy campus community.
Health & Counselling offers workshops on how to recognize distress and/or suicide risk, and can help you learn to recognize when it's time to refer students to seek out mental health support.
How to make SPACE in your classroom or workplace
Looking for quick tips on how to support a healthy environment in your classroom or workplace? Use our acronym SPACE for the five key areas in which you can start to support well-being today.
The Well-being Projects
The Healthy Campus Community Initiative is led by SFU Health Promotion, a unit within Student Services. This group of health professionals leads strategic and evidence-informed projects to transform our institution into a healthy campus community.
At times, you've probably noticed students who seem to be in distress. You may have worried about them and hoped they're getting the help they need — but not known whether you can or should do anything about it.
Our brief response guide can help you identify, and potentially assist, students in distress. You don't need to take on the role of a counsellor, but you can play a key role in connecting students with resources and support.
My SSP (My Student Support Program) offers free, confidential 24/7 mental health support for all SFU graduate and undergraduate students. Students can access counselling either through the free My SSP app or by calling 1.844.451.9700 (also available outside North America, dial 001.416.380.6578).
My SSP is a two-year pilot project funded by the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) and SFU.
Downloading the app to support students:
How can I help promote My SSP to students?
There are a number of ways you can raise student awareness about this new program:
- Add contact information for My SSP and Health & Counselling Services to your course syllabus or online course materials
- Have the My SSP app on your phone and encourage students to download it
- If you suspect a student may be struggling with something, the brief SFU guide to responding to students in distress can you help you identify and potentially assist students in distress
How can I help students access My SSP?
As a staff or faculty member, you can assist students in accessing My SSP provided you have their consent. There are two ways you can help a student access My SSP:
Help students connect with My SSP for the first time (Assisted Referral)
1. Student identifies need for support
2. Obtain verbal consent from the student to call My SSP together
3. Dial 1.844.451.9700 to request a counsellor, specifying language of choice as applicable (ideally call from the student’s phone)
4. Briefly explain the reason for the call and hand the phone to the student
5. Leave the room so the student can speak privately
Ask My SSP to call the student (Outreach Request)
If you have a student's verbal consent, you can ask My SSP to call to the student. You will need to contact My SSP and provide the following information:
- Student name
- Student’s preferred contact number
- Preferred time to receive the call
- Does the student give consent for My SSP to leave a voice-mail?
- Preferred language
- A few details related to the situation/need
Please note, you will not receive any follow-up from My SSP unless the student cannot be contacted.
I need advice on how to support students
My SSP will provide direct support to staff and faculty, as well as student leaders who work with students. If you're unsure on how to best support a student, this is an opportunity for you to get consultation and advice on particular student-related issues.
Seek third-party consultation if you need help with:
- supporting students in distress
- supporting withdrawn or isolated students
- communication difficulties, language barriers, or cultural norms
Access consultative services anytime, anywhere
- Call 1.844.451.9700 and book a staff and faculty consultation.
- Chat with an advisor through the My SSP App: Identify yourself as a staff/faculty member looking for support around a student-related issue.
During regular hours you can also contact SFU Health & Counselling Services for advice about supporting a student.