Over one million students at further education colleges in the UK will now have access to mental health support, thanks to a collaboration with IPS Limited and online therapy service MindSpace 247. An ID card can be topped up by parents for students with payment for courses, food and now access to 24/7 online counselling after one of the most challenging years for students in history.
“94% of Colleges reported that they had to deal with attempted suicides in the last twelve months”
Further Education News reported in March 2021 that “94% of Colleges reported that they had to deal with attempted suicides in the last twelve months, and that they’re dealing with a growing number of learners with both diagnosed and undiagnosed mental health conditions”, the collaboration with MindSpace 247 couldn’t come at a more important time.
Co-founder of MindSpace 247, Guy Outram said: “We have developed a system where students and teachers can access a fully qualified BACP counsellor, on video call or telephone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The access is almost instant and doesn’t require a GP appointment and the inevitable long waiting times. With reports stating that this could affect students for up to 9 years, without intervention this could have far more serious ramifications.”
The large team of MindSpace 247 counsellors and therapists specialise in multiple areas including exam stress, anxiety, body dysmorphia, loneliness, relationship issues, sexual worries, life coaching, bullying and depression.
Robrt Powell, Managing Director of IPS Ltd, who have developed the software for the pre-paid cards said: “Our i-Pay Software system helps to manage the day-to-day functionality for colleges, saving staff time through automation and integration including topping up balances, request loaning equipment, payment of trips, payment of courses, pre-order food and even buy from an online shop. However, offering further education college students access to online therapy sessions after such a challenging year is a very important step forward. Our partnership with Mindspace 24/7 will also allow this same system to offer online therapy sessions to staff too.”