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Mental health

University can be stressful and it’s easy to find yourself feeling overwhelmed. If you're lonely, worried about the future or struggling with mental health issues, we can help.

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

Personal counselling

The Student Wellness Centre offers personal counselling to all undergraduate and graduate students. If you have personal problems that are interfering with your quality of life and university experience, personal counselling might be for you.

If you have any academic or personal concerns, don’t wait until they grow into crises. Please contact us as soon as you are aware of a problem to receive the support you need.

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

Group counselling

Group counselling can be a great way to address your concerns rather than through individual counselling appointments. Some groups are drop-in/workshop and other groups run for a set period of time with relatively steady group membership.

Counselling offers core groups during the fall and winter terms to help you learn skills for managing anxiety and mood, as well as a changing variety of support groups (e.g. grief & loss, LGBTQAI+, social connection, women’s group, etc.). Our group offerings are updated before the start of each new term.

 

SupportConnect

SupportConnect is a free, confidential mental health support service for UVic students. Get connected with qualified counsellors, consultants and life coaches anytime, anywhere.

SupportConnect is available 24/7 by phone and online. They also offer video and in-person options. You can reach out for any reason, big or small.

Services include short-term counselling, wellness coaching, financial advising, and Computerized Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

By phone

When you call the toll-free number, a qualified counsellor will respond to your request. You can call SupportConnect anytime, from anywhere you are.

Toll-free (calls from North America): 1-844-773-1427
International collect calls: 1-250-999-7621

On the website

Create your new account using the access code Uvictoria.

Through the mobile app

Download the “Aspiria - SAP powered by Snapclarity” mobile app through Google Play or the Apple app store and use the login code uvictoria.

Feedback

Do you have feedback for SupportConnect? Fill out our feedback form to share your thoughts on your SupportConnect experience.

Career exploration

A lot of students worry about the future and what will happen once they leave university. It can be a stressful transition, but there are many resources to support you right now and after you leave UVic.

Career assessment

We offer counselling for students who are unsure about their academic or career path.

The process of getting to know yourself and making satisfying career decisions can involve a lot of uncertainty and exploration. We are here to explore these questions with you.

Career assessment tools

Career assessments, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and Strong Interest Inventory®, can help to give you insight into career decision-making.

Each assessment is completed online. After you complete the assessment, you’ll have an interpretation session with a career counsellor to discuss the results. There is a fee of $25 per assessment. Contact us to make arrangements to complete an assessment and book an interpretation session.

Career workshops

We offer career workshops each term for students interested in exploring career options and discovering future career possibilities. 

Stress & anxiety

Stress and anxiety can get overwhelming quickly. If you can deal with those feelings before they become a big problem, it can help a lot. Strategies that might work for you include:

  • Learn ways to manage your time effectively. Learning how to schedule your key responsibilities and keep on track with due dates will help keep you from feeling overwhelmed.
  • Make time to do things that you enjoy.
  • Take a break. This will allow you to be more productive and take on challenges.
  • Be realistic. Remember that not every stressor is as bad as it seems right now. Think about whether the problem will still matter in a week, month or year from now.
  • Breathe. If you feel overwhelmed, take a few deep breaths. This will help you slow your heart rate and calm down.
  • Try different stress relief strategies to find the ones that work best for you.

Resources

Depression

Everyone feels down or sad sometimes, but depression is more than just feeling sad. It can be overwhelming and leave you feeling hopeless. Remember that there are many available resources and people who are here to help.

Resources

Grief & loss

Grief is a natural part of life. It is a normal response to the sorrow, emotion and confusion that comes from losing someone or something important to you. It is a unique journey with a mixture of emotions and reactions. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, but there are some healthy and unhealthy coping strategies.

It can help to talk with friends, family or a professional. Talk to others who have experienced loss as well. Our workshops can be a good way to connect with others experiencing similar things. If you find that you are feeling overwhelmed, hopeless or helpless, consider getting professional help.

Grief is a journey that requires time and energy. Do what you can to take care of yourself. Give yourself time and space. Pace yourself. Be compassionate towards yourself. Remember that grief happens at its own pace and be patient with yourself.

Resources

  • Victoria Hospice offers community bereavement support, including telephone support, counselling, a variety of bereavement support groups, information and education, and referrals where appropriate.

Relationships

Making and maintaining healthy relationships is key to positive mental health. Healthy relationships make you feel good about yourself and about others.

The UVic Student Society has a wide variety of clubs and course unions that you can join. Other ways to form social connections include intramurals, sports teams, advocacy groups or spiritual groups. Club and Course Union Days are held at the beginning of each semester. They are a great way to get to know more about activities on campus.

Resources

Please note that some of these options are not currently available due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Private practice therapists

Many therapists provide a sliding price scale or a student rate. This can be a good way to make the most of the coverage your extended health insurance offers. The best way to find out a counsellor’s pricing options is to check their website or send them an email to ask about pricing.

Resources for finding a private practice therapist:

BC Association of Clinical Counsellors

Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association

BC Psychological Association

Canadian Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

BC Association of Social Workers

It can be good to talk to a mental health professional and ask questions to make sure they’re a good fit for your needs. Questions to ask may include:

  • What are your fees and do you have a sliding scale or student rates?
  • Do you offer an initial brief consultation for free?
  • How much experience do you have helping people who have issues like mine?
  • What does a typical session look like?
  • What approaches and techniques do you use?
  • What is your availability or wait time right now?

Consider contacting them by phone rather than by email – you may get a better sense of their approach and personality. You should feel free to shop around to find someone whose approach works for you. Pay attention to your instincts.

Student coverage

Make sure you check your health care plan for coverage information before you book an appointment with a therapist.

Undergraduate student coverage

Graduate student coverage 

Make sure to check what types of therapists are covered by your insurance plan, as well as how much of the cost your plan will cover. If you’re covered by other extended insurance plans (e.g., your parents’ extended health care, out-of-province medical plans), please contact your provider to find out how much coverage you have.

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