AMS mental health coverage to return to $1,000 starting September

The AMS’s mental health coverage will revert back to $1,000 next month, President Eshana Bhangu said.

In January of this year, the AMS increased mental health coverage for students from $1,000 to $1,500. This increased coverage expires on August 31.

“The increased psychology coverage does come at an increased cost for students and the AMS/GSS Health and Dental Committee has decided to maintain the psychology coverage at $1,000 for the upcoming policy year,” Bhangu said in a written statement to The Ubyssey.

Students currently pay $264.63 in fees every year for the AMS/GSS Health and Dental Fee.

Bhangu said only 1.37 per cent of students used all of their $1,000 of coverage in the 2020/21 policy year — indicating that the $1,500 is potentially not necessary.

“We want to ensure we are implementing sustainable and high-impact support mechanisms for students struggling with mental health and plan to work with UBC to increase support on campus alongside advocating to the Province for expansion of provincial programs offering mental health services for post-secondary students,” Bhangu said. Key provincial mental health initiatives and programs include AnxietyBC, BC Centre on Substance Abuse and BC Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

Bhangu said the AMS and GSS notifies all of its members with any updates, changes and processes that may occur to the Health and Dental Plan through emails, newsletters and social media. At the time of publication, there have been no such notifications.

This piece was updated at 3:36 p.m. on September 3, 2022 to clarify that students had $1,000 in coverage in the 2020/21 policy year. The Ubyssey regrets this error.