OSU expands student mental health resources with OSU Assist, MySSP

Haley Stark, News Reporter

In response to growing awareness towards student mental health, Oregon State University has launched two new initiatives, “OSU Assist” and “Anytime Anywhere: My Student Support Program @ OSU.”

Combining the resources of Counseling & Psychological Services, the Student Care Team, Student Health Services and the OSU Police and Department of Public Safety, OSU Assist is a multi-disciplinary mobile crisis response program for students in need.

Live from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday, students on the Corvallis campus can access OSU Assist by calling 911 or 541-737-7000 in the event of a mental health crisis. OSU Public Safety Dispatch makes the decision as to what kind of response will be given in regards to the call.

“They’re going to know what questions to ask to determine the degree of response that we’re going to need, and whether or not we need police to respond,” Crisis Response Team Coordinator Josh Ford said.

If a dispatcher determines that the caller’s situation does not involve threats of violence or usage of/access to weaponry, one of four OSU Crisis Responders on Ford’s team will be deployed to provide care to the caller. Scenarios where a Crisis Responder may be dispatched include delivery of difficult news, abuse survivor support and instances of suicidal ideation. 

Outside of OSU Assist hours, a typical police-based response will be used.

As a companion to OSU Assist, the university has also released the Anytime Anywhere: My Student Support Program @ OSU app. Unlike OSU Assist, MySSP is a non-emergency service that can be accessed anytime, anywhere. 

According to OSU Assistant Director of Mental Health Promotion Bonnie Hemrick, this new service attempts to address concerns frequently expressed by students.

“For years we’ve heard a lot of feedback that it was difficult to get into CAPS,” Hemrick said. “Not only was this not great for the student experience, but also we wanted to make sure that anyone who needs help is actually able to get it in that moment.” 

The app is free for students to download and allows students to speak to a counselor in real-time. The service comes with five primary language options, including English, Mandarin, Cantonese, French, and Spanish, but other languages are available upon request.


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