SFU addresses mental health on and off campus through additional student support services
By Justin Wong
Simon Fraser University (SFU) and Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) have launched a 24/7 multi-platform mental health and support service, called My Student Support Program (My SSP) to provide additional resources for all students.
The two-year pilot project will help address the growing demand for mental health services—a problem that is also impacting other young adults and post-secondary institutions across Canada.
SFU students now have immediate, confidential 24-hour access—from anywhere in the world—to counsellors through a phone or mobile app that allows them to speak to or text counsellors for emotional support such as managing relationships and adjusting to living away from home. Counsellors also offer crisis support.
The program provides both immediate and booked counselling options. Students can request an appointment with a counsellor who speaks a specific language or, for example, identifies as a specific gender, religion or as Indigenous.
In addition to having a counsellor at their fingertips, the downloadable student-support program app can connect them to videos and articles to help support positive well-being, such as how to achieve a work/life balance.
SFU's funding contribution for this initiative is part of the university’s Student Experience Initiative, a formal three-year process led by the VP Academic Office to fund projects with the potential to positively impact the student experience.
These mental health resources are provided in partnership with guard.me, a leading international student insurance provider, and Moreau Shepell, a leading global organization offering counselling that addresses the growing demand of mental health and wellness on campuses across North America.