Dawson Student Assistance Program (DSAP)

Note

Dawson College has engaged the keep.meSAFE Mental Wellness Support Program by guard.me to provide multilingual, culturally sensitive, and gender inclusive support for our students.

All students enrolled at Dawson College can access the Dawson Student Assistance Program 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by calling 1-844-451-9700. If you are outside of Canada or the United States call 001-416-380-6578.

This program provides Dawson students with free telephone, video or in-person appointments in 60+ languages. All sessions are confidential (within limits of the law.)

WAYS TO CONNECT

Mobile App

Download the My SSP app and connect with a counsellor anytime by chat or telephone.

You can access resources on Health, Living Away, Relationships and Student Life.

You can also access on-demand fitness and mental health assessment tools. 

Web  

If you don’t have access to a smartphone or tablet, you can still access chat support and self-help resources online at https://www.keepmesafe.org/ca-us/support-and-access.php

Telephone

You can receive phone support anytime of the day by calling:

1-844-451-9700 from anywhere in Canada and the United States.

Anywhere else in the world, call 001-416-380-6578.

 

There are three options for making a call to keep.meSAFE outside of Canada or the United States.

Option 1: Make an international call from your phone.

You can always ask the intake coordinator to call you back so that you do not incur international charges.

Option 2: Call collect or reverse charge call.

Please follow the specific calling instructions in your country. All international calls are live answered calls so we can accept any related charges. 

Option 3: Call via Wi-Fi connection.

Call using Wi-Fi via a Wi-Fi enabled phone.

What can the DSAP help me with?

The DSAP can assist in the following areas:

  • Managing stress
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Social isolation
  • Homesickness
  • Mental health issues
  • Coping with trauma
  • Family challenges
  • Academic issues, and more…

Who is providing the clinical support?

LifeWorks is the contracted clinical service provider behind the keep.meSAFE program. LifeWorks is a leading provider of global emotional health and well being services and is a trusted advisor, and strategic partner, to more than 200 post-secondary institutions, directly and through valued partnerships, across North America and the UK.

Your call or chat will be answered by a trained intake representative. The intake representative will collect some information to create a confidential client record, then complete an initial needs and risk assessment. If you are seeking real-time support, once the initial triage is completed, the representative will transfer you to a counsellor. If you are seeking scheduled support, the representative will coordinate a referral to one of their counsellors based on your needs and preferences.

DSAP counsellors supporting students are required to meet the following minimum qualification criteria:

  • A minimum master’s-level education in a mental health counselling related field,
  • Successful completion of an intensive screening process with reference and background checks,
  • Ongoing professional development.

These counsellors are unique in their background, experiences and education, which makes them ideally positioned to support diverse student populations.

Is there a limit to the number of times I can access this service?

Over the course of an academic cycle, it is common for a student to reach out multiple times looking for support on a variety of issues. The DSAP offers two main types of support: a real-time single session and short-term scheduled sessions.

Real-time single session: Our 24/7 real-time drop-in sessions via phone or chat are a great way to receive support when you do not want to wait for an appointment or would prefer to use the chat function. You can reach out multiple times for single session support as you need it, but these single sessions are not intended to take the place of dedicated support by a single clinician. Keep in mind that since this is not scheduled – you will be supported by the first available counsellor at that time, and therefore the same provider is not guaranteed over multiple single-session instances.

Short-term scheduled sessions are a great option for students who:

  • Would benefit from discussing their issue over multiple sessions,
  • Would like to connect with a dedicated counsellor,
  • Would benefit from receiving support from a counsellor with a background supporting their unique concern.

Please keep in mind that the DSAP provides short-term solution-focused support. Whether in a real-time single session or short-term scheduled sessions, the counsellor will work with you to create a plan, and help you identify achievable goals to address your specific issue. If it is determined that you might benefit from, or prefer, longer term, intensive, or more specialized support than what the DSAP offers,  you will be directed to resources that can offer this level of care.

How do I access the service?

Mobile App

Download the My SSP app and connect with a counsellor anytime by chat or telephone.

On the My SSP app, you can access resources on Health, Living Away, Relationships and Student Life.

You can also access on-demand fitness and mental health assessment tools. 

Web  

If you don’t have access to a smartphone or tablet, you can still access chat support and self-help resources online at https://www.keepmesafe.org/ca-us/support-and-access.php

Telephone

You can receive phone support 24/7 by calling:

1-844-451-9700 from anywhere in Canada and the United States.

If you are anywhere else in the world, call 001-416-380-6578.

What languages are supported?

Real-time call and chat services are available 24/7 in 5 core languages: English, French, Spanish, Mandarin, and Cantonese.

If you are more comfortable speaking in another language beyond the 5 core languages, call in and make this request – every attempt will be made to best to match you with a counsellor that can support your preferred language. Additional language support is possible primarily through scheduled phone and video sessions, and at times real-time over the phone. The ability to accommodate such requests depends on the availability of the call centre providers, network counsellors and the languages they are able to support.

Is the program confidential?

DSAP services are strictly confidential. This means that your information will not be disclosed to anyone without your consent and authorization (except in case of medical emergency or legal requirement mandating disclosure, or unless you pose a clear danger to yourself or others).

What if I need more specialized or long-term support?

The DSAP provides general short-term solution-focused support. In some cases, you may want or require more specialized, intensive, or longer-term support (i.e. to treat eating disorders, substance abuse, etc.). The DSAP can assist you in locating more specialized or more appropriate resources within your area. This assistance will be provided either by the DSAP Family Support Services (FSS) team, or your dedicated DSAP counsellor.

The FSS team is able to support requests for community referrals over the phone, but not via chat. FSS telephone consultations are offered Monday to Friday, between 8am-8pm (EST). If you call outside of these times, or on weekends looking for community resources, you will be offered a call-back.

The FSS team maintains a bank of information based on common questions and requests, and is constantly updating these resources in order to stay valid. The information is pulled from reputable, vetted sources within the health and wellness industry. An FSS team representative will conduct a telephone consultation to understand your needs and preferences, and then will compile a list of resources relevant to your situation, preferences and geographical location.

Common community resources include, but are not limited to:

  • Mental Health Organizations/Community Programs,
  • Subsidized/ Affordable Housing,
  • Shelters/ Community Counselling/ Food Banks/ Basic Needs,
  • Disabilities and Special Needs (Physical, Developmental, Learning etc.),
  • Family Violence,
  • Job Banks,
  • Bereavement Groups/ Support Groups.

Service exceptions: The FSS team does not provide medical resources or referrals to physicians/doctors etc. for physical health conditions. It is also important to note that the FSS team does not make recommendations or refer to any specific doctors or counsellors. Rather, they provide a list of options in your area for you to follow-up on.

Immediate transfers to a community resource are not made on your behalf, but rather all of the relevant contact information is provided to you directly via email within 2 business days of the consult. This turnaround time varies depending on the complexity of the request, with many requests completed within 24 hours.

Furthermore, if you engage with a DSAP counsellor for short-term sessions, and decide that you need more intensive, longer-term, or more specialized support than the DSAP can offer, the counsellor will work with you to help find resources in your area.

Any services you choose to engage with in the community are at your own cost. The objective is to help provide you with the information you need to make an educated and well-informed decision on what you think is best for you.



Last Modified: January 17, 2023