School is stressful. It’s OK to need support getting through the tough moments. As students, we’re pretty lucky that we have some great resources for mental health right here on campus.
Last year I wrote a blog post answering some questions about Student Mental Health Services that students might be too afraid to ask. In it was a lot of great information, but it’s a little bit long. Knowing how stressful the school year can be, I decided to put together a shorter post with some of the most important points from that blog.
So without further ado, here are five things you might not know about counselling with Student Mental Health Services at UOIT.
You can make an appointment online.
Appointments can be made both online and in person, but I know how uncomfortable it might feel making that appointment in person. You can book your appointment with a counsellor by emailing or calling the student life line at 905.721.3392. If you’re comfortable making your appointment in person, you can visit Student Mental Health Services in the U5 building.
Counselling is free.
A lot of students worry about the cost of counselling. After all, the last thing you need when you’re stressed out is more stress, wondering how you’re going to pay to get help. Luckily, all the services through Student Mental Health Services are free.
If you still want some sort of help but don’t want to see a counsellor, free support lines are also available to you if you ever want to talk to someone. Good2Talk is designed specifically for post-secondary students and is offered 24/7 and all year long. You can call them at 1.866.925.5454. Connex Ontario Mental Health Helpline is another support line run by the Ministry of Health. You can reach them at 1.866.531.2600.
Counselling is confidential.
Counselling is confidential, and student files are kept in a fully secure and locked space. Students only have one file and you are welcome to access it at any time. Counsellors take notes (with your permission) and will write down some suggestions or their own observations. No one has access to these files outside of Mental Health Services.
You can change counsellors at any time.
Part of your informed consent includes acknowledgment that counselling is about a trusting relationship between two people with a focus on the student and not the therapist. Therefore, your needs always come first. Student Mental Health Services has a small but versatile team including male and female counsellors, as well as more mature counsellors and younger ones who are closer to student age groups. It is your right to request a different counsellor at any time and for any reason.
UOIT Counsellors provide talk therapy.
At your first appointment your counsellor will ask some qualifying questions to help you identify your needs and risks and to get a sense of what you’re seeking help for. They will then establish therapeutic goals to work towards and/or recommend the best services to meet your needs, whether that be another counselling appointment or referral to a UOIT service or community partner.
All counselling through Student Mental Health Services includes this kind of talk therapy, but if your counsellor believes you require medication you will be referred to a community partner who can fully assess your needs and provide medication if they determine you need it.