A mental health tool for students considered inadequate

The platform is called Here2Talk It offers a free session with a mental health professional any time of the day or night and is available in several languages, including French.

Here2TalkIt is a step in the right direction and a good example of a tool implemented during an urgent and unexpected situation, entrusted to the organizer of the programs of the Student Association inOkanagan College and a member of the Provincial Student Union, Tilly Massey Leclerc.

However, the program is still incomplete, she said. The stranger on the other end of the line is no substitute for community and resources for mental health.

Classes at the University of British Columbia have been empty since the in-person start was postponed to Monday, February 7, due to the prevalence of the Omicron variant in the county. (Archives)

Photo: Radio Canada / Camille Vernet

Student mental health, an epidemic era issue

At least 14,000 students used the service Here2Talk Between 2020 and 2021, the Ministry of Higher Education confirms.

According to the government, 76% of them said they had received the necessary help and tools and 74% would refer their classmates or friends to Here2Talk.

However, Tyleigh Massey-Leclerc often hears the same complaint: Students don’t want an online service, they want a professional who is available in the flesh.

In fact, she says, the student community doesn’t want to text or talk to a stranger. [Nous avons besoin] The element of community and camaraderie, even if not as professional as a counselor or psychologist The young student hangs.

The role of coaches

The importance of the connection between students and teachers should be taken into account by educational institutions, believes Tyleigh Massey-Leclerc.

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This is key to adapting to online learning because teachers play a key role in learning experiences, so schools need to communicate proactively with students to provide support and learn about their experiences..

Sure, students are resilient, but according to Taylor Macy Locklear The pandemic has made it possible to identify many deficiencies in mental health in the public sphere, but also in the private sector.

She points out that the needs of students in the province are diverse and complex, because there are many characteristics: students from rural and urban areas, indigenous peoples, international students, and those studying part-time, in particular.

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