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Western University and partners launch free after-hours crisis counselling

File photo.
File photo. File Photo

It’s being billed as a first-of-its-kind partnership in Ontario, aimed at providing students with after-hours crisis counselling.

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The partnership involves Western University, King’s University College, Fanshawe College, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Middlesex, and London Community Foundation.

“Each Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday evening for 11 weeks a year — in the lead-up to exams in both semesters as well as during orientation week — we will run crisis counselling out of our student health services building,” said Mac McIntosh, student programs officer with the University Student Council.

“It is a lot of academic-based stress that causes a lot of issues on campus but there could be home issues or things that happen in their personal life that also affect it — we see a strong mix of both. But the purpose of it being during exam periods and during orientation week is to help students during the most stressful time of year.”

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The clinic will next operate from Nov. 21 to Dec. 14 in Room 11 of Student Health Services in the University Community Centre (UCC). Satellite clinics will also operate at King’s University College and Fanshawe College.

The London Community Foundation is providing a three-year $236,000 grant for the project, while CMHA Middlesex will provide crisis counsellors. Student volunteers who help run peer support centres at Fanshawe, King’s College, and Western main campus will act as help in reception.

The crisis counselling will be free to undergraduate and graduate students and is confidential.