New KSA Health and Dental Plan Offers Extensive Mental Health Resources to Students

KPU students will now be able to claim up to $500 for medical help per year

(mystudentplan.ca/kwantlen/en/mywellness)

As part of an effort to start a conversation about mental health and ensure that KPU students are faring well on campus, the Kwantlen Student Association has released a new and improved version of its health and dental plan.

“The idea of increasing mental health initiatives is something that the KSA has been interested in for a few years now,” says KSA President Tanvir Singh. “There are a couple of changes that we’ve made to the health and dental plan that we think are really going to benefit students.”

For instance, the KSA now covers up to 80 per cent of all visits regardless of how much money students spend per appointment for addressing their mental health issues. While there used to be a cap on how much of the per-appointment cost would be covered, the only funding restriction now is that a maximum of $500 can be claimed per year. The new plan allows students to see psychologists, Canadian certified counsellors, social workers, and more trained practitioners who can help them work towards a happier and healthier future.

“We really thought that would give students a choice for who they want to see rather than just seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist. They have the option of seeing a whole range of mental health professionals,” says Singh.

He adds that, because local psychologists are in such high demand, it can take months for youth in crisis to get the help they need. With these updates to the plan, students will be able to expedite that process without having to pay enormous amounts of money.

For those who would rather be evaluated and offered assistance from the comfort of their home, the KSA’s adoption of the MyWellness app will come as a relief. The app offers anonymous mental health assessment, support resources, and various online tools ranging from games to exercises that are designed to keep users informed and mentally stable.

“One of the main things that we think MyWellness is going to do is start a conversation,” says Singh. “The [KSA] executive team and a lot of our students have been reaching out to students and trying to get them to start having a conversation about taking their mental health seriously.”

KSA VP External and Women’s Representative Caitlin McCutchen is currently running a mental health awareness campaign called “A More Mindful U.” The campaign aims to “provide some workshops for people to really take care of their mental health, as well as a couple of other things,” according to Singh.

“I’m just really excited that the KSA is taking a look at mental health on-campus,” says Singh. “With us starting a dialogue and trying to break down the stigma around mental health, we can really benefit students. I think this can be one of the best things we do all year.”

Students who have questions about the plan are encouraged to visit the KSA Health & Dental Benefits Plan Office in KPU Surrey’s Cedar 1265 or visit their website for more information.

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