MC College has released an application to help provide their students across the country with access to mental health services.
My SSP (Student Support Program), is an Android and Apple app which will give the 1,300 students annually who go to MC College’s six campuses across western Canada access to free mental health and wellness support
“They have access to it 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” MC College Red Deer Director Janet Davey said. “On the app, they have access to all sorts of resources in regards to their challenges in school and out of school. They can text with a counsellor, they can express their challenges and be directed to an appropriate resource.”
According to the 2016 National College Health Survey, 65% of reported students felt overwhelming anxiety, 44% felt their depression made it difficult to concentrate and 13% reported serious thoughts of suicide.
My SSP, developed in partnership with Morneau Shepell, provides immediate access to mental health and personal support.
“My SSP features meaningful, confidential and culturally relevant support in various language for any of life’s challenges,” a MC College press release stated.
“At the touch of a button, students can call or live chat with a qualified counsellor with years of clinical experience.”
Davey said this is a tool that would be useful to all students, not just at MC College
“I think it is due to the stress level of our fast-moving world that never shuts off anymore,” she said. “Everybody’s lives are really busy and when you are spending money, while not making money — it is stressful as a student. There is a weight they take on that they may not realize until they are halfway through.”
She added that the app was downloaded 186 times the day after it was presented on Dec. 1st.
MC College also provides access to other resources to improve their students’ experience.
“We have the app, but of course we also post all of our local resources for our students. We are out in the community volunteering, so they are getting introduced to potential resources that way as well.
“We collect cards from all the different resources, whether it be housing, Women’s Outreach or any of that sort of thing,” she said.
She added, “I think it is great to recognize that, ‘Hey yeah. We all sometimes need someone to talk to’. It is nice to have it on their devices. It is a good fit.”