If this is an emergency, please contact your local emergency services immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions

Program Basics

GuardMe Student Support Program (GMSSP) is a resource designed to support the overall emotional health and wellbeing of students by providing real-time 24/7 access to professional counsellors as well as scheduled short-term support. Use the companion the TELUS Health Student Support app not only to connect with live support, but also to review its extensive library of digital emotional health and wellbeing content, which includes access to virtual fitness sessions and self-administered assessments.

GMSSP support basic features:

  • No appointment needed. Real-time single session support available 24/7 via phone and chat.
  • Connect anytime, from anywhere. Access GMSSP resources and services 24/7 via phone, app, and web.
  • Match with experienced professionals. Access to counsellors who have experience dealing with the unique challenges faced by students.
  • Looking for more than single session support? Call in to schedule an appointment for short-term sessions with a dedicated counsellor via phone or video.
  • Multilingual support available. GMSSP has counsellors available 24/7 that speak Mandarin, Cantonese, French, Spanish and English. Other languages available by appointment based on availability.
  • Free to students. Access to professional emotional health and wellbeing support at no additional charge to you.
  • Confidential. Your information and engagement with GMSSP is kept confidential within the limits of the law.

Phone: 1.844.451.9700 (1.416.680.9578 outside of Canada & USA)

Chat: download the TELUS Health Student Support app app on your mobile device.

Web: www.gmssp.org

Not sure what services you might be eligible for? Please refer back to the communication and information sent to you by your institution regarding eligibility requirements or reach out to GMSSP directly.

Yes! GMSSP also provides support to instructors, staff, and faculty members who work directly with students via its Staff and Faculty Consultation service. This is an opportunity for you, as a staff member, to consult with a multicultural expert on a particular student issue. You can speak with one of our counsellors who can give you guidance on how best to manage difficult student situations. You can access GMSSP via the same app/phone number as students, request a staff and faculty consultation with a GMSSP counsellor. Example reasons for staff or faculty to call GMSSP:

  • Supporting distressed or distressing students.
  • Responding to a student inquiry about an undesirable grade.
  • Addressing a conduct issue with a student.
  • Discussing culturally sensitive health topics, e.g. sexual health.
  • Supporting a withdrawn or isolated student.

GMSSP can help address common student concerns such as:

  • Adapting to a new environment, culture, learning style or city.
  • Tensions with family members, friends, or instructors.
  • Feelings of isolation, loneliness or sadness.
  • Stress and worry.
  • Frustration or uncertainty related to studies or post-grad plans.
  • Creating balance between personal and academic priorities.
  • Building better communication and time management skills.
  • Much more!

If something is bothering you, talk to someone. Talk to us.

LifeWorks (formally Morneau Shepell) is the contracted clinical service provider behind the GuardMe Student Support Program (GMSSP). LifeWorks is a leading provider of global emotional health and wellbeing services and is a trusted advisor, and strategic partner, to more than 200 post-secondary institutions, directly and through valued partnerships, across North America and UK.

Your call or chat will be answered by one of LifeWork’s trained Client Care Representatives. The intake representative will collect some information to create a confidential client record, then complete an initial needs and risk assessment. If you are seeking real-time support, once the initial triage is completed, the representative will transfer you to a GMSSP counsellor. If you are seeking scheduled support, the representative will coordinate a referral to one of our GMSSP counsellors based on your needs and preferences.

GMSSP counsellors supporting students are required to meet the following minimum qualification criteria:

  • A minimum master’s-level education in a mental health counselling related field.
  • Successful completion of an intensive screening process with reference and background checks.
  • Ongoing professional development.

These counsellors are unique in their background, experiences and education, which makes them ideally positioned to support diverse student populations.

Depending on your institution’s agreement with GMSSP, scheduled support may be available with a dedicated counsellor. If you are unsure, you can call into GMSSP to confirm the services available to you.

For students enrolled at institutions offering scheduled support via GMSSP, simply call in and request scheduled support and we will coordinate this for you. We may need to confirm availability of our counsellors and call you back with an available appointment time. Most times, you can expect to be offered an appointment within 5 business days of when you initiate your request. Some factors may extend this timeframe, such as limited availability or specific requests. We will communicate to you when you can expect to hear from us and update you if there are any delays.

Scheduled support through GMSSP is based on a short term, solution focused approach. Our counsellor will work with you to create a plan and help you identify achievable goals to address your specific issue. If it is determined that you might benefit from or prefer longer term, intensive, or more specialized support than what GMSSP offers, we will help you locate resources that can offer this level of care.

If you are engaged in ongoing sessions with a counsellor and would prefer to be matched with a different counsellor for any reason, you can do so anytime. Simply call GuardMe Student Support Program (GMSSP) at 1.844.451.9700 and let us know you are doing ongoing sessions and would like to be matched with a new counsellor.

Your institution or insurance has elected to provide this service to you as a student or member. There is no cost for you to access the digital wellbeing resources or emotional support offered through GMSSP. Any external support resources provided to you may, however, incur a cost.

Over the course of an academic cycle, it is common for a student to reach out multiple times looking for support on a variety of issues. GuardMe Student Support Program (GMSSP) offers two main types of support: real-time single session and short-term scheduled sessions.

Real-time single session. Our 24/7 real-time drop-in sessions via phone or chat are a great way to receive support when you do not want to wait for an appointment or would prefer to use the chat function. You can reach out multiple times for single session support as you need it, but these single sessions are not intended to take the place of dedicated support by a single clinician. Keep in mind that since this is not scheduled - you will be supported by the first available counsellor at that time, and therefore the same provider is not guaranteed over multiple single-session instances.

Short-term scheduled sessions. Scheduled sessions are a great option for students who:

  • Would benefit from discussing their issue over multiple sessions.
  • Would like to connect with a dedicated counsellor.
  • Would benefit from receiving support from a counsellor with a background supporting their unique concern.

Please keep in mind that GMSSP provides short-term solution focused support. Whether real-time single session or short-term scheduled sessions, our counsellor will work with you to create a plan and help you identify achievable goals to address your specific issue. If it is determined that you might benefit from or prefer longer term, intensive, or more specialized support than what GMSSP offers, we will help direct you to resources that can offer this level of care.

GuardMe Student Support Program (GMSSP) provides general short-term solution focused support. In some cases, you may want or require more specialized, intensive, or longer term support (i.e. to treat eating disorders, substance abuse, etc.). GMSSP can assist you in locating more specialized or more appropriate resources within your area. This assistance will be provided either by our dedicated Family Support Services (FSS) team, or your dedicated GMSSP counsellor.

The FSS team is able to support requests for community referrals over the phone, but not via chat. Telephonic consultations are offered Monday- Friday, between 8am-8pm (EST). If you call in outside of these times or on weekends looking for community resources, you will be offered a call-back.

The FSS team maintains a bank of information ready to go based on common questions and requests and is constantly updating these resources so as to stay valid. The information is pulled from reputable, vetted sources within the health and wellness industry. A representative from this team will conduct a tele-consultation to understand your needs and preferences, and then they will compile a list of resources relevant to your situation, preferences, and geographical location.

Common community resources include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Mental Health Organizations/Community Programs.
  • Subsidized/ Affordable Housing.
  • Shelters/ Community Counseling/ Food Banks/ Basic Needs.
  • Disabilities and Special Needs (Physical, Developmental, Learning etc.)
  • Family Violence.
  • Job Banks.
  • Bereavement Groups/ Support Groups.

Service exceptions: The FSS team does not provide medical resources or referrals to physicians/doctors etc. for physical health conditions. It is also important to note that we do not make recommendations or refer into any specific doctors or counsellors. Rather, we provide a list of options in your area for you to follow up on.

Given the non-urgent nature of these requests, immediate transfers to a community resource are not made on your behalf, but rather all of the relevant contact information is provided to you directly via email within 2 business days of the consult. This turnaround time varies depending on the complexity of the request, with many requests completed within 24 hours.

Furthermore, if you engage with a GMSSP counsellor for short term sessions, and decide that you need more intensive, longer term or more specialized support than GMSSP can offer, our counsellor will work with you to help find resources in your area.

Any services that you choose to engage with in the community are at your own cost. The objective here to help provide you with the information you need to make an educated and well-informed decision on what’s best for you.

Through GMSSP, real-time call and chat services are available 24/7 in the following languages: Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, French and English.

If you are more comfortable speaking in another language beyond the guaranteed languages, call in and make this request - we will do our best to match you with a counsellor that can support your preferred language.

Additional types of support are possible primarily through scheduled phone and video sessions, and at times real-time over the phone. Our ability to accommodate such requests depends on the availability of our call centre providers, network counsellors and the languages they are able to support.

GuardMe Student Support Program (GMSSP) welcomes feedback of any kind. You can provide feedback to GMSSP directly by calling us 1.844.451.9700 or online at www.gmssp.org.

If you are more comfortable providing your feedback directly to your institution, with your permission, they can share your feedback with us on your behalf.

If you are unhappy with your experience with GMSSP, let us know and we will conduct a full investigation. It is important to provide as much detail as possible so we can do a thorough inquiry into the matter.

Accessing Services

Access support anytime (24/7/365), anywhere- no appointment needed! It’s easy, just do one of the following:

1. Download the free TELUS Health Student Support App.

Through the app, you can browse useful health and wellbeing resources such as articles, infographics, podcasts, self-directed assessments, and virtual fitness sessions. You can start a chat session or call in directly and request to speak with a counsellor. The TELUS Health Student Support app and chat function is available in Simplified Chinese, Spanish, French and English.

Search TELUS Health Student Support app from either the Apple App Store or Google Play, download the app and get started today!

2. Call the number listed in the Get Support page.

3. Visit www.gmssp.org

You can browse useful health and wellbeing resources such as articles, infographics, podcasts, self-directed assessments, and virtual fitness sessions. You can start a chat session with a counsellor. The chat function on the website is available in Simplified Chinese, Spanish, French and English.

It’s as easy as following these steps:

  • From your mobile device, go to your app store and search ‘TELUS Health Student Support’.
  • Click install and wait for the app to download.
  • Once downloaded, open the app and swipe through the initial information pages.
  • Before exploring the great content in the app, take a moment to complete your profile, and review the TELUS Health Student Support app Terms of Use and Research Consent.
  • Ready to connect with a counsellor? You have two options: Click on the phone icon in the top right-hand corner and call in directly. Or if you’d prefer to chat, click on the speech bubble icon in top right-hand corner. You will be prompted to review the chat description and terms of use, complete your personal details, and disclose any immediate risk before continuing to the chat.
  • If you call in, you will be connected with a live representative who will ask you some preliminary questions; from there, you will be connected with a counsellor. If you chat in, you will automatically be placed in the chat queue and the next available representative will accept the chat conversation. You can text back and forth- but know that if you exit the chat session altogether you will be disconnected and you will need to start again, likely with another representative.

If you are currently located where no regional phone number is listed, you can still stay connected!

To use chat, you must have access to your provider network (data access) or a Wi-Fi connection.

  • The chat function through the free TELUS Health Student Support app and website works as it would if you were accessing from within the US, Canada, or UK. If you are experiencing difficulties, check your internet connectivity. Please also note that some countries may have additional firewall protections in place that block certain apps. If this is the case, consider calling in to TELUS Health Student Support app instead.

The following are two options for making a call to GuardMe Student Support Program(GMSSP) when a toll free number in your region isn’t listed:

  • Make an international call using your phone service provider network. International calling charges can be applied in one of two ways:
  • Student calls directly from TELUS Health Student Support app or direct +1 (416) 380-6578. To call internationally, you must have international calling enabled on your phone. International calling charges apply. You can request that GMSSP representative call you back to minimize the international charges to you.
  • You may opt to “call collect” to have the charges reversed back to GMSSP. To do this, you must find the collect call service for the country in which you are located, dial the number, and request to make a collect call to +1 (416) 380-6578. GMSSP will accept the charges and you will be connected with a representative.
    • Please be aware that when using the call collect option, the GMSSP auto attendant messaging is bypassed, and you will be connected directly with a representative. Please explain that you are a student looking to access the GMSSP services.
  • Call via Wi-Fi connection*. To call via Wi-Fi, certain conditions must be met:
    • You must be using a Wi-Fi-calling capable phone.
      • Wi-Fi calling must be turned on.
    • Your service provider supports Wi-Fi calling.
    • Troubleshooting: If you are unable to make or receive Wi-Fi calls, it may be due to one of the following reasons:
      • Device does not support Wi-Fi calling.
      • Device does not have the latest system update available.
      • Service plan does not include Wi-Fi calling.
      • Emergency address for Wi-Fi calling not set up (US service providers are required by FCC to support 911 calls and collect a registered location to enable the service)
      • The Wi-Fi calling setting is turned off in device settings.
      • Wi-Fi calling is blocked on user’s phone line.
      • No Wi-Fi network connection.

For more information about Wi-Fi calling including links to major US and Canadian carrier policies go to:

United States:




*NOTE: making calls over Wi-Fi can still come out of your regular minutes allowance and be charges as an international call depending on your phone plan Be sure to read the policies of your carrier to see if there are any potential restrictions and charges related to your situation.

If it is an emergency, call your local emergency number directly.

If you are not in immediate danger, but in distress and want to talk it through with someone, call GuardMe Student Support Program(GMSSP).

If imminent risk is flagged during the course of a clinical consult (with chats triaged to calls, and calls serviced immediately), the GMSSP provider will stay on the line, they will explain what they are doing, and they will loop in local emergency services if deemed necessary to ensure your immediate safety. In some cases, campus security teams may also be looped in where on the ground support is needed. It is important that you always provide true and accurate information when asked as this is what we will need to create or locate your clinical file and help emergency services get to you if it is an emergency.

You can still access the real-time single session support available to you via GuardMe Student Support Program (GMSSP). This program aims to supplement, not replace, any services you may already be accessing or have access to through your school or the community. Seeking scheduled sessions from two separate providers is not recommended, but the real-time single session support can serve as a great alternative in between sessions with your regular provider. Talk about this with your provider and how GMSSP might fit in with their recommendations.

Before accessing the health & wellbeing content, you will be prompted to identify the institution at which you are enrolled, as well as confirmation of having reviewed the GMSSP terms of use and research consent.

Chat access

Every time you initiate a chat session through the app or website, you will be prompted to review the Chat Description and Terms of Use, and complete/review your Profile, which asks for the following information:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Country
  • Institution Name
  • Phone Number (in case we need to reach you during a chat)
  • Date of Birth
  • Gender

You will be prompted to confirm whether you have a reason to believe there is risk of harm or violence to you or anyone else at this time (yes or no). If you answer ‘Yes’ to this question, the provider you connect with over chat may ask to transfer you to a call so as to better triage your needs (as required).

For this reason, please always provide true and accurate information in your profile as this is what we will need to create your clinical file and contact you if it is an emergency.

Once you have answered these questions, assuming no risk is identified, you are all set and will enter the queue to connect to the next available representative for support.

Telephone access

When you first call in to access services, you will be led through a similar intake process over the phone. First-time users will be asked the following information:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Institution Name
  • Phone Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Optional Security Question (e.g., mother’s maiden name)

You will also be asked to confirm whether you have a reason to believe there is risk of harm or violence to you or anyone else at this time (yes or no). This risk assessment is conducted every time you call in for services, however you will not need to provide your full profile information a second time, but rather just provide the basics (institution name and your name) in order for us to locate your file.

For this reason, please always provide true and accurate information when asked as this is what we will need to create/locate your clinical file and contact you if it is an emergency.

In both instances, the intake process for both chat and call should only take a few minutes.

Creating a profile helps our counsellors in two main ways: they are able to use this information to create a unique and confidential clinical file for you, and, in the event of an emergency, they know how to get in touch with you. In the future, the process for accessing support is much quicker as we already have you in our system.

As a front-line staff or faculty member of an institution whose students are supported by GuardMe Student Support Program(GMSSP), you can play an important role in raising awareness of the valuable supports offered through GMSSP.

Wherever possible:

  • Help students download the free TELUS Health Student Support app from their device’s app store and encourage them to help others do the same.
  • Help students identify reasons to call or chat in. Share your own experiences and let them know it’s okay to ask for help. Help normalize the use of the tools available.

Help educate other staff members on the program and distribute hard copy promotional materials as they become available.

Privacy and Confidentiality

Only if you allow it. For some institutions, you have the opportunity to provide consent to share your information with your institution’s health/counseling/wellbeing center. This will allow your institutional counsellors to stay informed of your access to GMSSP, with the intention of providing holistic, well-rounded care. The consent question will be asked when you first access GMSSP via phone or chat, and you have the option to decline. Your ability to access GMSSP services will not be impacted based on your response to this consent question.

If you are not asked this question, that means that your personal identifiable information and individual engagement with GMSSP is not shared with your institution or anyone else, within the limits of the law. Exceptions to confidentiality include when there is immediate risk to yourself or someone else and emergency services (i.e., ambulance, police or campus security) may need to be looped in to ensure your personal or others’ safety, reports of child or elder abuse, or if we are subpoenaed by the courts for our clinical records.

GuardMe Student Support Program (GMSSP) has committed to providing to your institution aggregated, de-identified case data and digital engagement metrics for the purpose of evaluating the program’s reach and impact on eligible users. Your identifiable data is not shared with your institution without your consent.

LifeWorks (formally Morneau Shepell) is the largest counselling provider in the world. They have delivered mental health solutions since 1974, and currently support over 20,000 organizations of all sizes and industries, including public, parapublic and private sector organizations, representing over 37 million individuals.

guard.me International Insurance and LifeWorks developed the GuardMe Student Support Program (GMSSP) based on Stepped Care principles aimed at improving accessibility to emotional health support and increasing individual’s help-seeking behaviour. GMSSP uses phone, video and chat-based technology platforms to help connect those in need to advisors and counsellors who understand student life and are available 24/7. Providing a mobile student population with accessible and confidential support, anytime and anywhere, is important to GMSSP.

If this is an emergency, please contact your local emergency services immediately.