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The Government of B.C. has launched Here2Talk, a new mental-health counselling and referral service for post-secondary students.
The service offers confidential, free, single-session services by app, phone, or online chat, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Until now, post-secondary students have never had access to 24/7 province-wide mental-health support services,” says Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Students advocated for years to fill the gap in available mental-health counselling services in British Columbia… I’m very excited to say that Here2Talk is now available for all 555,000 post-secondary students registered across B.C.”
Over the past several months, the Government of B.C. has been working with students to develop this new service. Hundreds of students throughout B.C. provided feedback and ideas that were used to develop Here2Talk. With the advent of COVID-19 and the increased stress it has put on students, efforts were doubled to get students the supports they need.
“Now, every student can access supports 24/7 without stigma or judgment – and it’s free, because access to mental-health care shouldn’t depend on the size of your bank account,” says Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.
For the first time, every student in B.C. has access to 24/7 mental-health services – whether they are rural, urban, domestic, Indigenous, international, public, private, full-time, part-time or in trades training. Here2Talk will complement other supports on campus and in the community, including new virtual mental-health supports announced Thursday, April 9, by the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions.
B.C. post-secondary students can access professional counselling services by:
Students calling from outside Canada can also dial 604.642.5212 (international calling charges may apply). Phone services are available in additional languages upon request.
The Here2Talk service is operated by Morneau-Shepell, and can support students dealing with challenges such as depression, anxiety, loneliness, pressure to perform, crises, racism, and relationships. Counsellors will also be equipped to refer students to local resources in their communities.
Read the Government of B.C. news release: Free counselling service launches for post-secondary students
Learn about more emergency resouces and supports for students by visiting VCC's COVID-19 information page.