October 30th, 2018
For Immediate Release
Halifax, NS – Post-secondary students across Nova Scotia now have access to a suite of innovative e-mental health programs. The programs are part of a post-secondary mental health strategy created by Dr. Elizabeth Cawley of the Association of Atlantic Universities (AAU) and funded by the Government of Nova Scotia. The programs are available to students at every University and NSCC campus in Nova Scotia.
“This suite of e-mental health programs, known as HealthyMindsNS, will change the way students across the province access mental health services,” said Dr. Elizabeth Cawley of the AAU. “Most importantly, they provide additional services and access points into mental health care on campuses, which is what students across the province have asked for.”
Together, the suite of programs improves four different areas that impact student mental health outcomes: mental health literacy, peer support, professional counselling, and service delivery. The suite includes online peer support and professional telephone counselling, 24/7, 365 days-a-year. The utility and efficacy of these programs is evidence-based and they contribute to an overall modernization of mental health services on campuses. The programs included in the suite are Therapy Assistance Online, 7 cups, Kognito, and Good 2 Talk.
“This is a preventative approach to mental health care in our Province,” said Clancy McDaniel, Chair of StudentsNS and VP External of the St. Francis Xavier Students’ Union. “We know that post-secondary students are more susceptible to mental health challenges, and these online tools reduce the burden of counseling services on campuses and ultimately help more students access appropriate and timely care.”
The Government of Nova Scotia provided $463,000 in Budget 2018 to pilot these online mental health therapy tools for post-secondary students.
“We are excited to see these programs launch on campuses across Nova Scotia, as we worked closely with the AAU throughout the creation of this mental health strategy” said Tristan Bray, Executive Director of StudentsNS. “We are incredibly thankful to the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education and the Government of Nova Scotia for listening to our recommendations and funding these programs, and we are hopeful that the government will continue to fund these programs in the future.”
StudentsNS represents 20,000 undergraduate, graduate, and college students across Nova Scotia, and asked the government to fund these programs last year.
For more information, contact:
Tristan Bray, Executive Director