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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Who can benefit from counselling?

    Everybody can benefit from counselling. It can help you appreciate and reach your personal potential to fully benefit from your university experience. We also help students with a variety of mental health difficulties often prompted by usual developmental and life concerns. Some examples include managing conditions such as:

    • anxiety
    • depression
    • identity concerns
    • loneliness
    • low self-esteem
    • relationship/family problems
    • stress
    • substance abuse
    • trauma-related symptoms

    In addition, university students seem to be prone to population-specific concerns including:

    • academic pressures
    • adjustment to university
    • career indecision
    • difficulties balancing school/work/home life
    • homesickness
    • procrastination
    • test anxiety
  • How do I know if I should seek counselling?

    If any of the above conditions apply to you, it may be appropriate to seek counselling. Additional signs and symptoms may include:

    • Feeling depressed, lethargic or apathetic.
    • Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness.
    • Internal discomfort.
    • Irritability or extreme mood swings.
    • Persistent worry or panic attacks.
    • Personal problems that interfere with your academic performance, sleep, ability to concentrate, and/or relationships with others.
    • Prolonged sadness.
    • Thoughts of suicide or wanting to harm yourself.

    No problem is too big or too small to seek counselling.  It is best to address issues upon identifying them to avoid it from further escalating.

  • How do I make an appointment to see a counsellor?

    You can book an appointment through any of the following options:

  • What supports are available after 4:30 p.m., on weekends, and holidays?

    Please refer to Student Mental Health Services (SMHS) Resources page for more information about after-hours supports.

  • How long will I have to wait for a first appointment?
    It depends on your availability, our availability and an assessment of your needs/risk. SMHS is committed to minimizing wait times. We usually accommodate first appointments within two weeks. If you feel your situation to be urgent, please inform us when you call, email, or stop by.
  • How long will counselling appointments take?
    Counselling sessions are up to 50 minutes in length.
  • Is there a cost to use counselling services?
    There are no additional fees for counselling services as they are included in all UOIT student ancillary fees.
  • Can I bring a friend, family member, or significant other to my appointment?
    Yes, if you feel more comfortable with another person and that person attends voluntarily.
  • Will my parents be notified of my involvement with SMHS?

    Your information is protected and confidential. Unless required by law, anything discussed in counselling remains confidential. Parents, professors, administrators and others are not provided with any information regarding a student in counselling.

    Please be aware that there are exceptions to this rule; there are circumstances in which counsellors are legally obligated to break confidentiality. See our Confidentiality Statement to learn more.

  • What if I want my counsellor to share information with others?
    Your information can only be released with your written permission. If you want it to be shared with others, please speak to your counsellor about this and sign a release of information form. It is up to your discretion what information you do and do not want released. To find out more about SMHS' privacy and confidentiality standards, please review our Privacy Guide for Students.
  • What if I feel like I don't 'click' or am not comfortable with my counsellor?
    You have a right to feel comfortable and safe in counselling. Please talk with your counsellor if you don't feel that way. The process of psychotherapy includes learning to communicate your needs with your counsellor. We encourage you to discuss feelings about your treatment directly with your counsellor, who can then change their interventions to accommodate you. If you don't feel comfortable approaching the counsellor directly, let the Student Information Assistant know that you'd like to make an appointment with a different one.
  • Can I be seen at SMHS for long-term therapy?
    The SMHS provides short-term counselling to students. After your intake meeting, your counsellor will work with you to evaluate what would be the best treatment plan for your personal situation. If you require longer and/or more intensive care than we can provide, your counsellor will discuss options for referrals to more appropriate community resources.
  • Do you prescribe medication?
    Counsellors at SMHS do not prescribe medication. If you are pursuing a medication evaluation, you need to make an appointment with a physician at the Campus Health Centre or see your primary care provider.