On 30 October 2018, the Government of Nova Scotia disclosed a recent public e-health program for every post-secondary student in the Province.
Elizabeth Cawley from the Association of Atlantic Universities initiated the online support program that offers seven mental health services to the students who, according to researches, are most susceptible to mental health issues.
The mental health support program, also known as HealthMindsNS was initiated because many students who need mental health services were not seeking the help because of the stigma that “seeking help” implies. Though there are no researches conducted for the need of such a program, it is broadly estimated that post-secondary students are more prone to mental challenges than any other age groups and the program is required.
Since the majority of the students and counselors use the internet, the online program also aims to reach more students simultaneously without packing the counseling services on campus.
Students welcome the program as it makes it convenient to approach the counselors than spending a limited one hour in a room. Online help is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the year.
Different Types of Services
The program provides video chat therapy, mood training sessions, relaxation activities, and telephone counseling to help the students cope with anxiety, stress, depression and destructive behavior.
The program has a preventive approach to help students deal with the pressure and stress. It aims to reduce the burden of counseling services and provide timely assistance to students without the fear of getting stigmatized and paying service fees.
Hopes For Federal Funding
The eight months trial period is expected to generate extensive data that can be used to improve counseling services all over the Province within the shortest duration.
The provincial government currently funds it with a budget of 463,000, but with further progress and more substantial collected data on the effectiveness of the program, Cawley hopes that the program will be federally funded.