New partnership supports international students’ mental health and cultural adaptation

August 28, 2018
international flags

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – International students can often face a unique set of challenges, ranging from cultural to linguistic and social. To help support its growing international student population, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville entered a new partnership with Morneau Shepell, a leading global organization offering counseling that supplements the growing demand of mental health and wellness on campuses across North America.

The “My SSP”: International Student Support Program offers international students around-the-clock mental and acculturation support through technology. International students at UW-Platteville now have the ability to download the “My SSP” app – at no charge – giving them access to free and fully confidential mental health and acculturation support from multicultural counselors who speak their language. Students can access immediate, real-time support or schedule on-going support with a counselor via chat or telephone. A wide range of self-directed multilingual articles and videos are also available online and through the My SSP app.

“For international students who are seeking coping strategies for challenges they have with health, relationships and living away from home, we encourage use of our confidential services,” said Matthew McEvoy, senior director of student support at Morneau Shepell. “The My SSP app complements existing on-campus services at UW-Platteville by connecting students with counselors during their time of need at any time – day or night.”

In addition to providing support to international students, Morneau Shepell also provides free consultations to faculty and staff who would like to discuss topics such as strategies for approaching a situation with an international student in a culturally appropriate way.

“We are very excited to be partnering with Morneau Shepell to offer this important service to our international students,” said Liz Kruse, assistant director of International Programs at UW-Platteville. “International students will now be able to access support in their own language whenever they need it from the comfort of their residence hall room or apartment. When you think about how challenging it is just to operate daily in a language that is not your first language, you can see how the challenge to talk about sensitive topics tied to mental health challenges can be magnified for students who do not have the opportunity to seek help in their native language. Add linguistic challenges to stigma associated with mental health in many cultures, and you can see why a program like this is critical to reaching students who wouldn't typically seek support, to ensure they achieve success throughout their experience.”

For more information about the MY SSP international support program, visit www.uwplatt.edu/isss/my-ssp-international-student-support-program

 

About Morneau Shepell

Morneau Shepell is a leading North American human resources consulting and technology company with global reach, delivering solutions that integrate both the needs of organizations and their people in employee assistance, health and wellness, benefits and retirement planning and pension administration. The company is a leading provider of employee assistance programs and administrator of retirement and benefits plans, and has a growing presence in the North American market for absence and disability management solutions. Through strategic human resources consulting, innovative plan design and comprehensive technology solutions, the company is powering positive change in progressive organizations by helping clients solve complex workforce problems, increase employee productivity, reduce costs and improve their competitive position. Established in 1966, Morneau Shepell serves approximately 20,000 clients, ranging from small businesses to some of the largest corporations and associations. With more than 4,000 employees in offices across North America, Morneau Shepell provides services to organizations across North America and around the globe. For more information, visit morneaushepell.com.

 

Written by: Alison Parkins, associate director of Public Relations, Communications, 608-342-1194, parkinsal@uwplatt.edu

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