Student Services recently launched a new mental health program for students called Real Campus. We spoke with Sheldon MacLeod, Director of Student Services, to learn more.
MacLeod is very excited about the launch of this program and wants it to become an extension of the health care services that are already available for UNBSJ students.
“This came about as a response to us seeing the need for more accessible mental health services on campus,” said MacLeod.
Students in need of more accessible mental health care
In a 2016 survey, results showed that over a quarter of university students have reported being diagnosed or treated for at least one mental illness. 60% reported feeling more than an average level of stress and 65% reported experiencing overwhelming anxiety.
Sadly, almost half of those who have suffered from depression or anxiety have never seen a health care professional about it.
Who can use it?
Real Campus is accessible to all students, including part-time, international, and even those who have opted out of the student health plan. It is covered through the “student success fee”, a recently added part of the mandatory student fees. This service is completely confidential, just as any other health care service would be, and is available in a variety of languages.
This program is meant to be students’ first stop in accessing mental health services. It is accessible 24/7, 365 days a year, through their phone line, email, chat online, or video chat with a professionally trained counsellor.
What is offered?
These counsellors are there to respond and assist immediately between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. They will continue to follow up with you as needed and can provide two short-term counselling sessions, either virtually or in person.
Although there is a limit to how many counselling sessions you can receive, Real Campus can refer you, as Student Services currently does, to further mental health services, such as appointments with a psychological or a psychiatrist.
MacLeod stated that Real Campus is currently undergoing its “soft launch”, as all the mental health services are accessible but other services have yet to be finalized. These services include but are not limited to medical, nutritional and legal assistance.
The full launch of Real Campus with all of its services will be announced further into the fall semester.
The Real Campus services can be accessed now at realcampus.ca, where you will be asked to fill out information proving your enrollment at UNBSJ and your mental health situation. You may also call 1-800-390-REAL (7325) or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
If you are in a mental health crisis, please call 911 for immediate emergency assistance.