Using technology to deliver cost-effective out-of-hours support to at-risk university students

Jonathan Munro, Glenda Langford, Niall Mulligan, Judith Austin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Increasing numbers of university students are studying online. Counselling appointments via skype are becoming almost commonplace. If counselling services don’t make it easy for students to access support, students will simply engage elsewhere with the risk of students seeking peer advice on social media or not engaging at all (Inglis & Cathcart 2016). The incidence of psychological distress in university students is four to five times that of the general population yet less than a third present to university counselling services (Stallman, 2010). On Australian university campuses, a rich suite of health services is provided during traditional business hours but why stop there? There are changing expectations around access to student support services and technology makes 24-hour counselling support possible and affordable while at the same time mitigating risk for universities. This paper discusses the use of an after-hours crisis support service to help callers find immediate relief from emotional distress and explore coping strategies for their current crisis until they can be referred to longer-term help.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)75-78
    Number of pages4
    JournalJournal of the Australian and New Zealand Student Services Association
    Volume2017
    Issue number50
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

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