Text for mental health support

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LIMERICK Fianna Fáil TD and Minister of State at the Department of Higher Education Niall Collins has welcomed 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.

Minister Collins 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.”

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

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“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,” Minister Collins 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,” said Gertie Raftery, chairperson of PCHEI.