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U of R launches mental health text line for students

CJME with Vianne Timmons 4 September 2019

 

As classes start for University of Regina students on Wednesday, the school is reminding them their grades aren’t the only things that matter — their mental health does, too.

In partnership with the Co-operators, the U of R is launching a crisis text line powered by Kids Help Phone that connects students to on-campus mental health resources.

“Our students live with their phones; they live, breathe, talk with their phones. The students born today have never lived without the Internet, so we’ve had to really modernize all of our systems and make sure our students have access to supports really quickly and easily,” explained U of R president Vianne Timmons ahead of the school year.

Timmons pointed to things like the university’s UR Guaranteed and ambassador programs, which can help ease students’ anxieties in and out of the institution.

“(There are) programs that help wrap our arms around a new student when they walk in our doors,” she said.

Timmons added she hopes the creation of the text line shows an influx in students using the services at the school.

“I want our students to know about the services provided and I want them to access (them) so everybody’s ready to go,” she said. “We all have to be ready to accept (students) and support them.”

According to a news release from the Co-operators, if students text “UofR” to 686868 at any time of the day, they are instantly directed to a trained Kids Help Phone crisis responder who can help connect them with the appropriate on-campus resources.

Vianne Timmons is the president and vice-chancellor at the University of Regina.