(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University has begun winter term with a new partnership to provide real-time, 24-hour-per-day access to professional counselors who can support students through anything from mental health crises to everyday concerns.
The university has joined a growing list of educational institutions to work with the human resources firm LifeWorks to offer counseling and other resources through the company’s My Student Support Program (My SSP). Counselors are available for on-demand, no-appointment sessions by phone or chat – either online or on the My SSP mobile app – or by appointment for ongoing, short-term counseling. My SSP will complement SOU’s existing, on-campus services for student health and wellness, and is offered at no charge for SOU students.
“We recognize that the higher education setting, even at a welcoming and supportive campus such as ours, has stress points that can be difficult to work through alone,” said Anna D’Amato, executive director of the SOU Student Health & Wellness Center. “This partnership with LifeWorks to provide the full slate of My SSP services is a tremendous value to our students and the university. Students’ overall health and wellbeing – physical, mental and emotional – is our top priority, and this new tool will help us provide important services that cannot be fully offered through our own, limited staff.”
Students can access the new services through the free My SSP app, the website (https://myssp.app/ca/home) or by phone at 1 (866) 743-7732 (or at 001 (416) 380-6578 for those outside the U.S. or Canada).
The LifeWorks counselors are specifically trained to deal with challenges often faced by students, such as adapting to new challenges, academic success, stress and worry of daily life, relationship concerns, and sadness, loneliness and uncertainty. Multilingual counselors are available for sessions in English, Spanish, French, Mandarin and Cantonese – and in other languages, if available, by appointment.
The My SSP partnership also gives SOU students access – through the app, website and telephone – to a variety of articles, videos, tools and other resources.
My SSP offers guidance for faculty or staff members, or student leaders, on how to best manage difficult student situations and on facilitating “assisted referrals” for students of concern. Those who have frontline connections with students are encouraged to let them know it’s OK to ask for help, to recommend registering on the free My SSP app, and to call in themselves for advice on engaging students of concern.
LifeWorks, a leading provider of technology-enabled HR services, was launched in 1966 as W.F. Morneau & Associates, and now serves about 24,000 client organizations in 162 countries. Its international and domestic student support programs serve more than 2 million students at a variety of colleges and universities, with a worldwide network of more than 35,000 counselors – including at least 18,000 in the U.S.