‘I just hope students know they’re not alone:’ Dalhousie grad launches COVID-19 student support network

A recent Dalhousie University graduate has launched a new tool to help post-secondary students struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.

Stacie Smith started working on the COVID-19 Student Support Network back in May, after she and many of her peers found it difficult to transition to online learning.

Read more: Students coming to Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic bubble to receive mandatory coronavirus tests

“I’m super excited to finally have it out to the public and to have students actually use it,” says Smith.

“Hopefully we’ll see some positive change around mental health and them dealing with the COVID-19 online learning.”

The network, which launched Wednesday, is a space for students to share their thoughts and feelings toward their new reality.

It was created as part of the Mindyourmind Youthexperts Design Lab program, a non-profit that works with young Canadians to develop and create new resources that address mental health needs.

Click to play video 'How post-secondary students can stay on track financially during COVID-19' 5:28 How post-secondary students can stay on track financially during COVID-19

How post-secondary students can stay on track financially during COVID-19

The student support network will not only be a good networking resource, Smith says, but also a place where students can find volunteer opportunities and mental health supports.

“There isn’t a lot of assistance out there, and there’s only so many mental health services and supports at universities,” Smith says. “It’s much more needed right now because people are really isolated from others, so that’s really why I wanted to make this happen.”

Read more: Concerns raised about students leaving isolation for mandatory COVID-19 testing

The network is available to students across Canada.

“I just hope students know they’re not alone through this, everyone pretty well across the country is going through the same struggles with transitioning to online learning,” says Smith.

“We just need to remember that we’re all in this together and we’ll get through this.”

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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