Mental health resources

UVic is committed to fostering environments for work and study that are safe, supportive, inclusive and healthy, encourage mutual respect and civility, while recognizing that people are our primary strength.

Assisting someone in need

How can I help a colleague?

It can be difficult to know what to do when a colleague is dealing with mental health issues. Knowing how to support your colleagues can make a difference in their ability to cope. How do you know if a colleague has a mental health problem? At times it will seem obvious when someone you work with is going through a hard time, but there is no simple way of knowing if they have a mental health problem and sometimes you don’t need to know. It’s more important to respond sensitively to someone who seems troubled than to find out whether or not they have a diagnosis.

Possible signs of distress

  • Significant changes in behaviour or performance (e.g. decreased interest or involvement in work, tardiness, increased absences, showing signs of lethargy, agitation, confusion, outbursts, excessive anger, changes in physical appearance)
  • Social withdrawal or isolation (e.g. uncommunicative, avoidance, not showing up for meetings, lack of cooperation)
  • Signs of excessive drug or alcohol use
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering things or making decisions
  • Expressed feelings of hopelessness, despair, behaviours that indicate a likelihood of harm to self or others (e.g. suicidal ideation, verbal or written communication that includes plans to harm self and/or others)
  • Preoccupation with/or expressions of violence, or persons who have engaged in violent acts or with weapons

Supporting a colleague

  • Take time to ask others how they are. After all, we’re all in this together.
  • Pay attention to changes—notice when someone is not quite themselves.
  • If you notice changes and are concerned about a colleague, it’s best to express concern without making assumptions or judgments or diagnosing.
  • Offer a listening ear—simply being there will mean a lot.
  • Ask how you can help—and respect your colleague’s wishes.
  • Suggest resources both on campus and community resources.
  • Depending on your relationship, you can still keep in touch with a colleague who takes time off.
  • When a colleague returns to work after time off due to a mental illness, make them feel welcome and appreciated. Saying nothing because you’re worried about saying the wrong thing can make your colleague feel worse.

More tips and resources

Campus resources and support

Campus Security and Personal
Safety Coordinators
250-721-7599 |

Equity and Human Rights Office
250-721-7007 |

Human Resources
Work Life Consultants
250-721-8085 |

Office of Occupational Health, Safety and Environment
250-721-8971 |

Office of Indigenous Affairs
250-472-4913 |

Office of the Vice-President
Academic and Provost – Faculty Relations
250-721-7114 |

Employee Groups

CUPE 4163

CUPE 917

CUPE 951

Faculty Association

Professional Employees Association (PEA)


Employee & Family Assistance Program Services

On Campus Services

Multifaith Services
250-721-8338 |

How to assist a student in distress

The Student Mental Health webpages have resources and services available to assist you in responding to students who may be struggling with mental health issues.

Mind and body - Your health, your way

As a faculty, librarian or staff member, it’s important to take steps to maintain your own wellness. Our daily lives can be stressful and demanding and at times we may feel overwhelmed. Whether it’s workload, family issues, illness, loss or other concerns sometimes we need assistance in managing.

Well-being is much more than just physical health, exercise or nutrition. It is the complete integration of states of well-being.  To find resources to support your wellness see our balanced living page.

How UVic supports you

We all have mental health and our positive sense of mental well-being is unique to us. On this page we have compiled a number of resources and tools to assist you to find the right resources to help your mental health

Download a copy of our Mental Health and Wellbeing Reference Guide.

Top 10 places on campus to find calm and relaxation

  1. Finnerty Gardens
  2. Mystic Vale
  3. Sitting by Petch fountain
  4. Respite rooms in the McPherson Library and Diana M Priestly Law Library in the Fraser Building
  5. Interfaith Chapel – Meditation times or Labyrinth walks
  6. The Quad
  7. Pick a bench anywhere on campus and people watch
  8. Michele Pujol – Upper room in the SUB
  9. Library silent floors
  10. University Centre – second floor grey couches

External resources

Try the Mental Health Meter or the Stress Index or the mental well-being screening tool:

More information

Campus policies and procedures

The University of Victoria actively promotes and communicates coordinated practices of inclusion, respect, wellness, accessibility, safety and accommodation as the foundations of a healthy campus community. (Objective 1(d) of the Strategic Plan (2012)

As a campus community we recognize that we all play a part in an inclusive community. We are committed to a supportive campus which includes a comprehensive approach to Mental Health and well-being. The following components are part of a preventative and systematic approach to address Mental Health and wellness for faculty members, librarians and staff.

Institutional Policies & Practices/Supportive Policies and Procedures can be found on the University Secretary’s website.

Representative examples are:

Frequently asked questions

How can I access mental health awareness training?

Human Resources will be offering training to employees. Please view our training schedule for details.

Where can I find information about meditation?

Who can assist me to stay at work or if I have to go off work in the event of a physical or mental health issue?

The Work Life Consulting team manages the absence and disability management program (short-term illness/injury, return to work and medical accommodations) along with coordinating health promotion initiatives for staff and faculty.

Who can I contact for advocacy?

How do I access counselling services for myself or my family?

UVic staff and faculty and dependents can find support through our employee and family assistance program (EFAP). The program is designed to provide you with information, advice and support to help you navigate many of life's milestones.

If you're enrolled in the Pacific Blue Cross extended health plan, you may be reimbursed for counselling services. For further details look in your benefits handbook or log into Pacific Blue Cross CARESnet to check for up-to-date claims and limits.

BC Association of Clinical Counsellors

BC Association of Social Workers

BC Psychological Association

UVIC’s Psychology Clinic

This training facility for clinical psychology graduate students provides professional psychological services to the community, including assessments and therapeutic interventions for children, adults, couples and families. Please check the website for information about availability of services and rates.

I want to find help with stress management and relaxation

I would like some tools to help me cope with mental health issues at work

The Workplace Strategies for Mental Health site has excellent resources.

Anti-depressant skills at work

You may also contact our Benefits Office and Work Life Consultants for resources available through our extended health care plans.

How do I have a conversation with my chair/dean about my mental health?

The resources on this website will provide you with tools and resources to help you prepare for the conversation.

How do I talk to my colleagues about my mental health?

If you are returning to work, talk to your manager before you start back about how you want information handled. For more information, see

What about privacy and confidentiality?

What can I do to feel better when dealing with a mental health issue?

What have others done that has worked?

What if I am concerned about the mental health of a colleague?

Resources for managers