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A joint effort by SFU and the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) has led to the development of a two-year pilot program extending a new student support service for mental health.
On August 1, keep.meSAFE Student Support Program (SSP), a 24/7 multi-platform mental health and support service, will be made available to SFU students. The program is the end result of five months of collaboration between representatives from the university and the society.
The new initiative will be offered online and is to be integrated with the Health and Counselling Services of SFU.
Martin Mroz, director of Health and Counselling Services (HCS) explained that the goal of the pilot is to address three factors.
The program is meant to create and provide increased access to health services for students, spread education about mental health and services while working to remove the stigma attached to mental health, and foster a more inclusive and empathetic community where people are able to talk about mental health.
According to Mroz, while HCS already did substantial work in the university, it needed more articulation. He talked about involving and training staff members to help spread education and “change the setting”.
The hope for the two-year pilot is that it will be a key step in increasing accessibility to mental health services and ensuring the mental well-being of students.
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