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‘Here for you’

Free mental health supports now available to students 24/7

Student Life

By Jennifer Batten and Lisa Pendergast

All Memorial University students now have access to free, 24/7 mental health support through a new pan-university partnership.

Keep.meSAFE is the first support program to use linguistically and culturally matched licensed clinicians who can provide students with barrier-free services.

“University life is full of ups and downs, new challenges and experiences, and at times the strain can become intense, leading to anxiety, increased stress, depression and other mental health issues,” said Dr. Ken Fowler, director of the Student Wellness and Counselling Centre on the St. John’s campus.

Dr. Fowler says demand for Memorial’s counselling services has at times outpaced its ability to offer support.

Memorial’s investment in the innovative program will help ensure all students, no matter their physical location, language or cultural background, will receive the support they need, exactly when they need it, he says.

“It’s a game-changer.”

Health challenges along the way

Whether students hail from Newfoundland and Labrador or international locations, living in the province or abroad, the investment in keep.meSAFE means all students can access immediate and confidential support from a counsellor.

“Students’ time at Memorial University is filled with excitement, new friendships, transformative learning and growth,” said President Vianne Timmons. “We recognize many may face various mental health challenges along the journey. Keep.meSAFE is another way to support our students — no matter where you live, what time it is or which language you speak. We are here for you.”

For more information, visit Memorial’s Student Wellness and Counselling Centre online or download the “My SSP” app to be connected to a counsellor.

Students with urgent mental health concerns should avail of the following community-based services.

For students on the east coast of Newfoundland and Labrador:

  • 24-hour mental health crisis line: If you are experiencing a mental health and/or addictions crisis, need support or health information, please contact 811 to speak with a registered nurse trained in crisis intervention.
  • Mobile Crisis Response Team: Call 811.
  • 24-hour walk-in Psychiatric Assessment Unit at the Waterford Hospital Site on Waterford Bridge Road: (709) 777-3021 or (709) 777-3022.
  • Health Sciences Emergency Department on Columbus Drive in St. John’s: (709) 777-6335.

For students on the west coast of Newfoundland and Labrador:

  • If you are concerned for a friend’s safety and they live at Grenfell Campus, you can call Campus Enforcement and Patrol to do a “wellness check” at any time (709) 637-6210.
  • Students can avail of a 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Line at 1-888-737-4668
  • Mobile Crisis Response Team: available seven days a week from 10 a.m.–10 p.m. and can be reached by calling 911 or the Corner Brook RCMP (709) 637-4100.
  • There is a mental health liaison nurse at Western Memorial Regional Hospital from 4 p.m.–12 a.m. every day. A student can check in at outpatients.

Online e-mental health resources include the below.

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