Text-Based Mental Health Support for Third Level Students

By gemmacreagh - Last update


Get Daily news and updates directly to your Email




Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, this week launched a new text-based mental health support which will be available to all returning and new third level students.

Psychological Counsellors in Higher Education Ireland (PCHEI) has partnered with 50808, a free, anonymous 24/7 text service, to provide the new mental health support service for third level students.

The text-based mental health support service partnership with PCHEI has been in development since March 2020.

Minister Harris said:

“Students are our future leaders, politicians, entrepreneurs and business leaders, teachers, engineers, health staff, chefs, mechanics. Many of our science students will progress to careers where they develop new vaccines, so that we will have less risk from viruses such as the one we are valiantly trying to stem at present.

“They have endured so much. We now must take care of students’ mental health as we have a duty of care to them.

“This partnership will be vital. It will offer students a lifeline at any hour of the day. It will be free and anonymous.

“Our students need this service more than ever. I am also delighted that my department was able to secure €5 million in funding for mental health services in our institutions of higher education, to ensure the ability of HEIs around the country to continue to provide assistance to students in need of help.”

A recent USI report, National Report on Students and COVID-19, shows that almost 27% of students would use a text support service provided by the college, while 26% indicated that they would use a text support service facilitated externally.

Counsellors across the higher education sector are hopeful that 50808 will attract these students, who can text anonymously in a way that feels safe for them – maybe as a first step to further support.

Gertie Raftery, chairperson of PCHEI, explained:

“We’re delighted to partner with 50808 so that our students have the option to engage with support, at the time they may immediately need it, and in a mode that is very comfortable and familiar to young people.”

Ian Power, CEO of 50808 and Spunout.ie, a national youth wellbeing and information website, said:

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with counselling services across the higher education sector in Ireland to provide an additional support to the suite of interventions available to students on campus.

“We know that mental health challenges are something we can experience at any time, day or night, and we’re delighted to be working with PCHEI and their members to ensure a listening ear for college students both out-of-hours and during the college day itself.

“50808 will be available to listen to what’s going on for students 24/7 and provide immediate support in an effort to help students move forward, feel better and get access to further supports and services if required.”

Targeted initiatives like 50808, which is funded by the HSE, are making mental health services more readily accessible to those in higher education, according to John Meehan, assistant director of the National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP).

He said:

“We know that people are particularly vulnerable at transition points in their life, such as the move to third level. This initiative is a great example of true partnership working, between health and education, and importantly will provide 24 hour crisis support to students whenever they need it.

“This work is particularly aligned with our efforts in the HSE, to realise a wider suite of innovative and online mental health solutions. It is also aligned with our national strategy to reduce suicide, Connecting for Life, in which young people are identified as a key priority group.”

Mr Meehan added:

“Now more than ever, we rely heavily on strong cross-sectoral and interagency partnerships in order to make meaningful progress. We would like to thank the PCHEI, HEA and to 50808 for all their collaborative efforts in bringing this partnership project to launch today.”

Speaking at the launch of the partnership, Lorna Fitzpatrick, president of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), said:

“It is really great to see this partnership launch today. The 50808 service is set to be a very valuable resource for students who may not be able to reach out to their counselling services on campus for various reasons. Student mental health is a priority for us all and ensuring students have access to someone to speak to when they are in need is so important.”

She continued:

“Students come from a variety of backgrounds and living situations and have many competing priorities and a lot to juggle, so they need to have different types of services to engage with for support. USI and PCHEI have worked very closely over the past number of years, and we are delighted to be able to support this partnership too.”


 


gemmacreagh

Call For Student Innovators
A Safe Return to Campus


Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We'd love to send you the latest news and articles about evening classes, further learning and adult education by email. We'll always treat your personal details with the utmost care and will never sell them to other companies for marketing purposes.

Comments and Reviews Policy


Featured Articles

Posted in: Teaching

What Makes A Great Teacher?

What Makes A Great Teacher?: History is filled with classic stories of hero teachers. From Mr. Holland’s Opus, to Robin Williams’ portrayal of English teacher John Keating in Peter Weir’s Dead Poets Society through the wartime musical Goodbye Mr Chips, all the way to Mr. Miyagi. We’re all in awe of those remarkable teachers who […]

Posted in: Mental Health

Breathing Exercises for Stress

Breathing Exercises for Stress: We’ve seen it in every film and TV series when a character is in shock or under pressure that someone tells them to “breathe deeply” in an effort to calm them down and help them recover. Yes, it’s a cliche but it’s a cliche that’s based on biological fact. When we […]

Posted in: Study Skills

Studying Tips: Take a Break!

Studying Tips: Take a Break! Studying is a challenging experience and something that needs to be approached correctly. It’s not just a case of sitting down and ploughing on with things. As well as being organised and having a study plan, it’s vital that you take breaks. Studies have shown that many students in the […]

College, Covid & Mental Health

This year, World Mental Health Day is on 10th October and continues to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilize efforts in support of mental health. Ahead of the day, we want to take a look at College, Covid & Mental Health and how important it is that we do everything […]

Posted in: College Life Covid-19

Third Level Colleges Moved to Level 3

Following the government’s announcement on Friday afternoon that all universities and Institutes of Technology be placed at Level 3 of the Covid-19 alert framework for up to three weeks, concerns have been expressed over the short time students and colleges have to adapt to the restrictions . While colleges themselves will remain open with all […]

Posted in: College Life

A Safe Return to Campus

On 21st September 2020, the Royal Irish Academy hosted an Online Conversation, Perspectives and Pathways in a Time of Crisis, which explored a safe return to campus and the issue of how to ensure the protection of our communities, students and staff, as we embark on a new academic year in a time of Covid.  […]

Your Future Is Yours To Choose – Life Beyond the CAO

Last Friday, thousands of students received their CAO offers. Regardless of what the outcome was, it is important to remember that the CAO is just one path you can take. If your first round offer does not meet your expectations, be sure that there are many other options available. If you don’t get what you […]

Posted in: Leaving Cert

Leaving Cert Results – What’s Next?

Today, Monday 7th September 2020, over 60,000 students received their Leaving Cert results, this year delivered in the form of a calculated grades system. This system works to establish a student’s grade by using a process of combining teacher assessment, which is then sent to the Dept of Education for standardisation and a final grade […]

Posted in: College Life

Universities Preparing for the New Academic Year

  Universities have been spending the Summer getting ready for the new academic year and preparing to overcome all the challenges the current situation has put before them. Below we take a look at some of the ways Universities have been preparing for the new academic year.   Delivering Programmes  The main focus for third-level […]

Posted in: Study Skills

Study Is What You Do. Hobbies Are What You Are.

Your time at University can be the best years of your life as you discover a whole other world to the one you have lived up until this point in your life – a world of new people, new knowledge, new ideas and new experiences. However, it can also be a pretty stressful time in […]