Mental Health Services

Mental Health Services

Seeking mental health support and improving your understanding of mental health can have a positive impact on your wellbeing, and help you succeed on your academic journey. 

During the fall and winter terms there are two same-day triage appointments available, at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., for students in elevated levels of distress. These are not counselling appointments. The purpose of this appointment is to better determine the urgency of the situation, assess best next steps, and to coordinate appropriate service supports for you. Please inquire about these appointments by calling 403-210-9355.

Please note that because our regular scheduled appointments are booked up to 10 business days in advance, they are not meant for urgent or crisis situations. If you need after-hours mental health support or are experiencing a current mental health crisis, you can access 24/7 support through the Distress Centre.

Eligibility: Mental health services are available to registered students until the end of the semester in which they are registered. Your mental health provider will support you in transitioning to community-based services, as needed.

Counselling Services

Our clinic provides free and confidential counselling to UCalgary students. Our counsellors can help you address concerns, no matter where you are on the Mental Health Continuum. Common concerns students experience are stress and anxiety, depression, loneliness and isolation, and relationship issues. If you’re dealing with these or other issues, counselling might be right for you. 

Counselling services are held in person or remotely via Microsoft Team. Learn what to expect from virtual counselling.


One-at-a-time counselling

Get faster access to support when you need it most. Through single session counselling, you can explore concerns, gain insights, and co-create some strategies you can leave the appointment with. Many find that one session of counselling meets their needs, but if you feel something more is needed, you can discuss this with the counsellor, and further supports on or off campus will also be explored. You can access single session counselling as many times as you need.

With appointments available from Monday to Friday, you’ll usually be able to book a 75-minute appointment within a week.

  • Deepening understanding of thoughts, emotions, and behaviours
  • Exploring of values, purpose, and meaning
  • Healing from trauma and historical events
  • Working through dilemmas and getting unstuck from a problem or concern
  • Finding new ways to make positive change

Book a session online

Coordinated care

Our team of Student Support Advisors (Registered Social Workers and a Registered Nurse) are here to help you with any issues keeping you from personal or academic success, using a coordinated care approach.

The purpose of coordinated care is to help you reach your optimum level of wellness through practical problem solving, resource navigation, and linking & liaising with campus and community resources. Coordinated care can occur concurrently with individual counselling.

With appointments available from Monday to Friday, you’ll usually be able to book a 60-minute appointment within a week.

  • Increase confidence in your academic ability
  • Make general improvements to your well-being
  • Navigate systems on- and off-campus
  • Improve personal functioning
  • Offering supportive check-ins on an as needed basis

Learn more about Coordinated care


Direct access services

Peer listening

Come visit with a trained student volunteer who is ready to listen and talk with you about your concerns. Peer listeners are knowledgeable about on- and off-campus resources.

Learn more about peer listening »

Self-help resources

Access videos, learning modules, online information, apps, and more that provide mental health information and strategies to help you make positive changes to your health and wellbeing.  Available any time of day!

Access Self-help resources »

Workshops

Student Wellness Services offers a variety of workshops that cover various mental health topics.

View our current offerings »

Mental health educational groups

These multi-session, ongoing groups provide support, mental health information, and strategies to promote your well-being.

Learn more about group programs


Referral required:

Brief individual counselling

Using a brief model, individual counselling aims to help you address concerns through connection with helpful resources and short-term, goal-focused support.

Learn more about counselling

Physician/psychiatry

We offer psychiatric consultations and treatment for UCalgary students using a short–term model (usually up to six sessions). Referrals are only made by a community-based or Student Wellness Services physician.

Learn more


FAQ

1. Why does Student Wellness Services only offer brief counselling?

As a public institution, the Government of Alberta provides direction about the types of health services provided by public post-secondary institutions. The Government of Alberta has given the mandate to public post-secondary institutions in Alberta to provide brief mental health support to our students.

2. How many counselling sessions are offered to one person? How long is short-term counselling on average?

On average, students accessing brief counselling find they are able to address their concerns in 4-6 sessions. Depending on the situation, some students may access additional sessions and others may access less.

3. Do I have access to Wellness Services as a student? As an alumnus?

You have access to all Wellness Services if you are currently registered in classes (e.g., full-time, part-time, undergraduate, graduate, open studies). Unfortunately, we cannot offer services to alumni and ContEd students at this time.

4. Are counselling sessions offered in languages other than English?

While English is the primary language we are able to offer, we have a limited capacity to offer counselling in additional languages (e.g., Spanish, Kiswahili).

5. What does Indigenous Counselling mean?

Indigenous Counselling is offered through Student Wellness Services and in-person appointments take place out of Writing Symbols Lodge. Virtual appointments are also available. The current counsellor who is offering this service is an Indigenous Social Worker and has a Master of Social Work degree. They offer culturally relevant services to students accessing counselling. This means that you may want to incorporate smudging or other culturally grounding activities into the therapeutic process. There is also opportunity to access ceremony, Knowledge Keepers, and Elders through this service as students need and desire. Students who self-identify as Indigenous in anyway are welcome to access Indigenous Counselling.

6. Do I need to have First Nation Status to access Indigenous counselling?

No, you do not. Anyone who self-identifies as Indigenous is welcome to access Indigenous Counselling. You will not be asked to prove your Indigeneity.

1. How can I access mental health support if I’m unable to attend during regular business hours?

Hours are from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. Wellness Services is closed on weekends and all statutory holidays. If you require mental health services after hours, we have the following options available to you:

  1. Reach out to the Distress Centre via 403-266-4357, available 24/7. You are also able to reach them via online chat from 3 to 10 p.m. on weekdays and noon to 10 p.m. on weekends.
  2. Additional crisis support is available through Woods Home Community Support Team. You can reach them via phone call at 403-299-9699 or 1-800-563-6106, available 24/7. You are also able to text them via 587-315-5000 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Students now have the option of booking virtual mental health appointments during regular business hours (9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.). To book a virtual appointment, select this option using the online booking form or by emailing: SWSMentalHealth@ucalgary.ca

2. Is Wellness Services open during COVID-19? What hours is Wellness Services open?

Wellness Services is open between 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. for in-person services. We continue to offer both virtual and in-person appointments. Some early evening (5 p.m.) mental health appointments may be available on request. For more information, please feel free to give us a call at 403-210-9355 or email SWSMentalHealth@ucalgary.ca

3. Can I access mental health services over the summer?

Yes, you can access mental health sessions over the summer. Students registered for the upcoming Fall term are also eligible for services during the summer.

4. Can I access wellness services online?

Some services have been moved virtually and/or suspended for the time being:

  • Counselling is provided both in person and virtually, depending on current health guidelines.

Medical services can be accessed virtually in some cases:

  • Virtual appointments aren’t scheduled for an exact time; however, any availability constraints are noted for the physician and an approximate appointment time is set. We’ll let you know if the physician will call you in the morning (9 a.m. – noon) or afternoon (noon – 4:30 p.m.) on your appointment day. Must be in Alberta to access a virtual appointment

5. Can I access workshops and counselling at the same time?

Yes, you can attend workshops while receiving counselling.

1. How do I book a counselling session? Can I choose a specific counsellor?

You can book a single session counselling appointment via our online booking link:

  • https://counsellingintake.ucalgary.ca/TitaniumWeb
  • From the link you can choose to  book online or book an appointment via Microsoft Teams. The form is straightforward, but if you have any questions when filling it out you are welcome to reach out to one of our advisors at 403-210-9355.
  • When booking, you can choose from any of the available counsellors. If you’ve previously accessed counselling services and are interested in meeting with a different counsellor, you are welcome to choose a new counsellor.
  • Visit our bios page to learn more about the team!

1. What will your first single-session counselling session look like?

  • As you have completed your forms ahead of the session, at the beginning of the appointment, your counsellor will review the forms with you, your goals for the session. and will also spend some time getting to know. Following, the counsellor will collaborate with you to identify next steps for addressing your goals. This can look differently, depending on the nature of your goals (e.g., developing new insight, learning new skills, identifying natural supports). Sessions are between 60 to 75 minutes.
  • At the end of your appointment, you and your counsellor will discuss best next steps, which may include taking time to implement what you’ve learned and then checking in at another single session in the future. You are also welcome to book a follow up appointment with your counsellor at the end of your single session appointment.  We refer to this as “brief-individual counselling.” Brief individual counselling typically continues with the same counsellor, though your counsellor may recommend seeing someone else on the team who offers specialized skills related to your counselling goals.

2. What technology do I need to access a virtual mental health appointment?

  • Student Wellness Services uses MS Teams to offer virtual mental health appointments. It’s preferred that you have access to a webcam, especially for your first appointment. As much as possible, please arrange to be in a private space with a secure internet connection. Headphones are highly recommended to help protect your privacy.
  • It is advisable to download MS Teams in advance of your appointment and to be logged in with your UCalgary IT account to reduce the risk of connection issues.
  • If you are unable to identify a private location and/or do not have access to the technology to access a virtual appointment, one of our Student Support Advisors can coordinate a space for you. Contact one of our advisors at (403) 210-9355 or SWSMentalHealth@ucalgary.ca.

1. Will you release information about me to my professors?

No information about you and what is discussed in counselling sessions will not be released to your professors without your consent.

1. Where can I find information on mental health resources in the Calgary area?

  • 211 is a helpline and online database of Alberta’s community and social services. It is free, confidential, multilingual and available 24/7.
  • 211 offers specific supports for post-secondary students in Alberta. Connect by:
    Phone: 211
    Text: (text INFO to 211);
    Live chat: ab.211.ca

2. What if I need support when Student Wellness Services is closed?

  • Wood’s Homes and Distress Centre are available for mental health support outside of our business hours.
  • Call Student Wellness Services afterhours to be connected with these supports.
  • You can also call Distress Centre at: (403) 266-4357

If you have any more questions that have not been answered, please feel free to visit us in room 370, MacEwan Student Centre Monday to Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. You are also able to give us a call at 403-210-9335 or send us an email at SWSMentalHealth@ucalgary.ca.


Finding Health Support

Use this tool to access the support you need.