Harris launches partnership with 24/7 student mental health service

Harris has partnered with Togetherall to deliver anonymous peer-to-peer mental health supports to all students

Simon Harris has announced a partnership with 24/7 student mental health service Togetherall.

The Minister for Further and Higher Education, Innovation, Research and Science announced the partnership today to mark World Mental Health Day. 

Psychological Counsellors in Higher Education Ireland (PCHEI) has partnered with Togetherall to deliver “a clinically moderated, online peer-to-peer mental health community” which aims to empower “individuals to anonymously seek and provide support”.

The funding for Togetherall is part of Budget 2023 which was published on September 27. The funding was provided as part of packages aiming to mitigate against the impact of Covid-19.

In a press release today, Harris said: “As students and staff returned back to college campuses last year, we made a commitment to provide the supports to assist them in whatever way we could.”

“Today I am delighted to follow through on this commitment with funding for this vitally important partnership between PCHEI and Togetherall.”

He continued to highlight the “incredibly difficult 2 years” students had over the pandemic and said that “the long-term impact on their mental health” is “potentially significant”. 

“While we have invested heavily in enhancing student counselling services, and innovative mental health and wellbeing supports for students, there is always more we can do.”

He noted that this partnership will “provide students with 24/7 access to mental health support”.

Togetherall is designed to “work with existing mental health services to provide preventative and early intervention supports”.

Speaking on the announcement, CEO of Togetherall henry Jones said: “We are delighted that Togetherall’s online peer support can now be made available through universities across Ireland.”

“We’ve seen how offering a choice of services and easy-access tools can help to serve a wider range of needs and a larger proportion of students, every day we see the power of people helping each other by sharing their thoughts, feelings, stories and encouragement.”

Kate Henshaw

Kate Henshaw is current Editor-in-Chief of Trinity News, and a graduate of Sociology and Social Policy. She previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.