Health & Wellness

Two students playing squash

Health and wellness is essential to student success and we offer many services that strive to support your wellbeing. Whether you need to see a doctor for a lingering cold, need a way to relieve some stress, are looking for someone to talk to or just want a way to stay active, we have you covered. 

Student Wellness Centre | Counselling | UVic HealthMultifaithHealth Insurance | Athletics & Recreation | Mental Health & Well-Being 

Student Wellness Centre

At Student Wellness (SW), we want to help you thrive so you can achieve your personal and academic goals. We bring together Counselling, Health and Multifaith so we can help care for the whole you.

Our team of practitioners offers a variety of services to support students’ mental, physical, and spiritual health. You can make a same-day or pre-booked appointment with a counsellor, nurse, physician, or spiritual care provider. If you’re unsure where to start, or what type of care you need, you can book a wellness consultation with a counsellor or nurse.


We take a collaborative approach to mental health support; our team includes counsellors, doctors, nurses, and spiritual care providers.

Individual counselling

Student Wellness offers counselling to all undergraduate and graduate students.

We can help you:

  • improve your well-being
  • address mental health concerns (e.g. anxiety, depression)
  • explore your academic and career directions
  • explore questions around gender identity or sexual orientation
  • increase your personal and academic resilience
  • overcome problems that are holding you back
  • develop better relationships

Groups and workshops

Group counselling can be a great way to address your concerns rather than through individual counselling appointments. We offer a number of group programs on topics ranging from managing stress and anxiety to enhancing personal relationships. Some groups are drop-in/workshop and other groups run for a set period of time with a steady group membership.

Counselling for Indigenous students

Our counsellors for Indigenous students offer a safe and caring space that honours Indigenous knowledge, experience, and ways of healing. Our counsellors respect the diverse cultural backgrounds and levels of knowledge of all Indigenous students. Their counselling approaches can address the intergenerational effects of colonial traumas and the challenges of being a post-secondary student.

Indigenous students also have the option of seeing non-Indigenous counsellors.

Career exploration and planning

Career counselling can assist students to develop self-awareness and skills for making effective decisions about their academic and career directions. Resources for research, assessment tools, and individual and group career counselling and exploration are all available.


Physical health

Our physicians, nurses, specialists, practitioner partners, and Student Welcome Team work collaboratively to provide students with a range of health services. We offer confidential primary health care to students, including care for common and chronic illnesses and injuries, contraception and sexual health, immunizations, and wellness education. We collaborate with and refer students to campus and community resources for specialized programs and hospital care.

We offer confidential, primary health care on-campus, including: 

    • Medical care
    • Mental health support
    • Immunizations
    • Wellness education
    • Sexual health
    • Management of chronic illness

We have both pre-booked appointments and same-day appointments with doctors and nurses available Monday - Friday. We recommend choosing pre-booked appointments whenever possible to find a time that works best for your schedule. For unexpected, urgent medical concerns, we offer same-day appointments. We are located in the Health and Wellness Building.  


The Multifaith Centre is a great place to drop-in, chat with friends, rest between classes, enjoy a walk in the Finnerty Gardens, or participate in our free weekly programs.  We offer dozens of programs such as Pet Cafe, Yoga for Meditation, Movie and Game Board Nights and Learn to Meditate, to help manage the pressures of being a student.

Spiritual care providers (SCPs) offer emotional, social, and spiritual support, providing holistic tools to deepen wellness. Whether you are exploring life’s big questions, looking for a non-judgmental space to discuss any topic, interested in deepening your spiritual journey, or curious about meditation, prayer, or mindfulness; meeting with a spiritual care provider can complement your approach to wellness.

The Multifaith team aims to be inclusive, honouring and affirming the rich diversity of human identities, including sexual orientations, gender expressions, racial, ethnic, religious groups, indigeneity and other potentially marginalized groups.

 Multifaith offers programs to help you:

  • Decrease stress and anxiety
  • Explore your spirituality
  • Develop self-awareness and mindfulness

Health insurance

Undergraduate students

The UVSS Enhanced Health & Dental Plan provides extended health and dental coverage for all undergraduate students who are registered in at least three units of classes or on a co-op work term. The plan is intended to cover expenses not covered by the Medical Services Plan for BC residents  (MSP)  and other basic health care programs.

If you have equivalent health coverage from a different plan (e.g. a parent’s or partner’s employee plan), you may choose to opt out of the health portion, the dental portion or the plan in its entirety during the change-of-coverage period, which typically takes place at the beginning of a term. Students must opt out each year they attend UVic. You may also choose to opt down to a Basic Health and/or Dental Plan with less coverage at a lower cost. 

Graduate students

The GSS Extended Health and Dental Insurance Plan provides extended health and dental coverage for all graduate students who are registered in at least three units of classes in September or January terms (including a thesis or dissertation) or in a graduate co-op program.The plan is intended to cover expenses not covered by the Medical Services Plan for BC residents  (MSP) and other basic health care programs. The full coverage details can be found online. Hard copies of the booklet are available at the GSS office.

If you have equivalent health coverage from a different plan (e.g. a parent’s or partner’s employee plan), students may opt out of the extended health and/or dental insurance plan(s). Part-time students are not automatically included in the plan, but can opt into the plan before the deadline. There are fixed opt-in/out deadlines: September 22 for students in September or January 22 for students starting in January. Students must opt out each year they attend UVic.

International students

The cost of health care in Canada is very high if you do not have health insurance. Having both primary and extended health insurance provides you with comprehensive coverage and ensures that medical issues will not cause financial difficulties or compromise your academic progress.

Students who will study in British Columbia for more than six months must enrol in the BC Medical Services Plan (BC MSP) upon arrival. BC MSP is the primary medical insurance offered by the BC provincial government. Because there is a waiting period before BC MSP coverage can take effect, most NEW international students will be automatically enrolled in  mandatory temporary medical insurance   (the plan) upon course registration to ensure they have coverage during their first term at UVic. To learn more about health insurance in Canada and your eligibility to opt in or out of the plan, visit the health insurance page of the International Centre for Students website


Athletics & Recreation

Vikes Athletics and Recreation is your campus starting point for leading an active, healthy life. We offer a state-of-the art recreation and athletics facility, surrounded by a number of playing fields, as well as group fitness and programs to help you meet your goals.  

    • Get fit and stay active at the Centre for Athletics, Recreation, and Special Abilities (CARSA), our fully equipped, two-story fitness and weight-training facility
    • Test your limits on the 16-metre climbing wall or learn the basics of bouldering
    • Bring your game face to our enormous indoor field house, with space for a variety of drop-in sports including basketball, floor hockey and badminton
    • Enjoy competition in one of our bright squash courts
    • Take part in recreation classes, including spin, TRX, kickboxing, yoga, pilates and martial arts
    • Participate in intramurals or join a recreation sports club
    • Show your school spirit for one of our 15 Vikes varsity teams

Vikes Nation

Male student wearing a Vikes Nation t-shirt at a varsity game

Vikes Nation is the heart beat of UVic's school spirit. It's a movement that spreads the blue & gold love across campus and hosts active events that draw thousands of students just like you to be a part of the campus culture.

Vikes Nation is your connection to active living, the UVic community and Vikes spirit. 

Let's live active, be healthy and thrive together! 

Learn more

For most UVic students, a base membership is included in your student fees, which includes access to the McKinnon pool and weight room, the Ian Stewart Complex ice rink, CARSA squash courts, CARSA fieldhouse for drop-in sports like basketball and badminton, as well as regular season varsity home games. Additional levels of membership are available for purchase that give you access to the CARSA Fitness Weight Centre, CARSA Climbing Centre and group fitness classes.


Mental health & well-being

As you begin your studies at UVic, you can expect many aspects of your life to change. Many students look forward to the start of university with both excitement and apprehension and it's normal to feel a little anxious.

Your mental health and well-being is a priority for us. As a new UVic student, you're joining a strong community that cares about you and wants to help you succeed and thrive. There are many strategies you can adopt and numerous supports available on campus and online to improve your mental health and well-being.

Visit UVic's Student Mental Health website

If you have a past or existing mental health condition, you may want to familiarize yourself with the resources that are available to you. You can contact these resources prior to the start of your studies to learn more about their services and ensure a smooth transition.

Want to hear about mental health at university straight from current students? Visit the Student Mental Health blog