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Student Support Programs

International and study abroad students face many cultural, physical, and mental health challenges as they pursue international education. Our Student Support Programs (SSP) will integrate with your existing campus programs and enable your institution to help students achieve success, health, and retention. By matching your students with support in their own, native language and culture, our services focus on those students who are often reluctant to reach out for assistance.

Global students face unique challenges

Students that choose to pursue a global education face unique challenges. Cultural and linguistic differences between the student’s home and host country present formidable obstacles to student success. Additionally, these students experience high incidence of mental health issues, with 2.5 times greater personal stigma toward mental health challenges than domestic students. But, they are half as likely to reach out for support; creating further challenges for them in their personal and academic life.

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Connecting global students to support in their language and culture context

The Morneau Shepell Student Support Programs connect students to credentialed, Masters-level counselors who speak their native language to help them successfully address these challenges. Students receive the help they need in their own native language and cultural context. With care that feels right for them, they are healthier, perform better, and stay enrolled at your institution.

The program was a lifesaver – it actually saved my life.

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Targeted and accessible resources for students who normally would not seek support

We focus our resources specifically on these students as they typically don’t seek help. Our caring, professional counselors speak the student’s native language and understand their culture, which is critical for providing the most effective services and achieving healthy outcomes.

Confidential support 24/7 in their own language

Immediate support is available 24/7 through chat and telephone, with full integration with on-campus resources. Outcome based success measures are in place to provide reporting on the program’s impact, and to help inform campus programming and development.

Cultural adaptation

Equipping students with skills and resources to understand social norms of host countries and address language concerns.

Mental health

Supporting students in combatting isolation and addressing feelings of loneliness, helplessness, and anxiety.

Student life

Assisting students to understand academic expectations and how to engage in extracurricular activities helps them achieve greater levels of success.

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Developing healthy relationships and creating new friendships is key to a positive global education experience.

Unique programs built for your global students

International students

International students may come from countries that have strong cultural stigmas about mental health. Students connect with counselors who speak their own, native language and deliver support in their cultural context. To further reduce stigma, all support is confidential and is easily accessible remotely 24/7.

Study abroad students

Study abroad students typically do not have the comprehensive, coordinated support they need while they are studying outside their home country. We provide consistent mental health and acculturation support available remotely and 24/7. Crisis support is also available to students in need both locally and around the world. And, we connect students to your on-campus support resources wherever they are around the world.

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Integration with on-campus supports and existing protocols

Our programs work within the established framework at your institution, enhancing and elevating the support you provide to students. We work with you to understand and complement your existing services in student health and counselling, international office, and other relevant campus resources. We learn your existing protocols/procedures for students at high risk and the level of information sharing desired between our clinical team and yours that will maximize the impact of our joint support efforts. These procedures are then built into our proprietary case management system and form a permanent component of our response protocol for your students. As a result, your students are provided with a holistic and seamless support network so they can focus on their academic learning and campus experience.

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Outcome metrics that predict student retention

We work with your institution to develop and execute a strategic integration and communication plan that drives student engagement. Our program measures outreach to 24/7 counseling support as well as the reach and impact of the program’s self-serve digital resources via our mobile app and web platforms. These platforms are often the first point of contact for traditionally underserved populations and normalize outreach for support.

Our program metrics relate to the immediate and sustained impact our program is having on student wellbeing, including impact on stress levels, ability to stay in school and complete school work. These metrics are highly predictive measures of student retention. We make it easy for your institution to see the program engagement and impact with access to our program reporting platform.


Most innovative work being done across the international education.


2017: Employee Assistance European Forum’s Innovation of the Year Award

Thought leadership and innovation as a result of the mental health support it provides to international students.

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My SSP app wins in the mobile applicable tool category and the consumer directed digital health programs category.

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2016: eHealthcare Leadership Awards

Gold for Best overall site for SSP website and silver for Best Mobile Communications for My SSP app.

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Ongoing research to better support international students

Beyond providing the right resources and support to aid global students, Morneau Shepell strives to gain insights to improve upon our solutions. We have partnered with The JED Foundation, a national nonprofit that exists to protect emotional health and prevent suicide for teens and young adults, to undertake a study that will assess the impact of our SSP on international students’ coping skills, emotional struggles, acculturation, and success. The goal is to discover even more effective strategies for supporting international students.

More solutions to complement SSP

Learn about our other innovative, integrated solutions