A group of students posing around a sign that says quote: Your Mental Health Matters, end quote
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Plenty of mental health and wellness supports for students on campus

25 January 2023
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As most people are aware, today is an important day for discussions about mental health in Canada. But it’s important to remember that it’s not the only day that Canadians need to talk about the subject. Mental health awareness needs to be a daily, 52-weeks-a-year, continuing conversation – that’s perhaps no more important than for university students that may be facing the stresses of academics, finances, relationships, and the general uncertainty of the times.

We can connect students with supports available on campus or are available in the community – that’s what we are good at. We are here to help. Dr. Jenny Keller.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, about one in five Canadians will experience a mental health crisis in their lifetime. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in classes this winter semester, the demand for mental health supports by U of R students promises to be substantial.

Dr. Jenny Keller, the U of R’s manager of Student Mental Health, says the four clinicians who make up the clinical team at Student Mental Health see about 30 new clients a week, and that’s just in their therapy appointments.

Keller stresses that if students are having difficulties, no matter their nature, it’s prudent to reach out to Student Mental Health.

“If a student experiences a significant change in functioning that is leading to declines in other areas, they should definitely make an appointment,” Keller says. “I think students should always consider coming to see us because there are always ways we can provide them with alternative resources. We can connect them with supports available on campus or are available in the community – that’s what we are good at. We are here to help,” she adds. 

As Keller explains, there are four service lines that Student Mental Health provide students.

Their outreach service embeds a Student Mental Health clinician at campus locations such as the student residences or the ta-tawâw Student Centre. Other units such as UR International may request a clinician pay the unit a visit.  

For emergent situations – where students are in significant distress – Student Mental Health reserve two designated appointments every day – one at 10:30 a.m. and one at 2:30 p.m.

The unit also promotes general wellness in conjunction with the Student Success Centre. Together, they deliver online workshops on stress, stress management, procrastination, motivation, and other such topics.

The unit’s therapy service is a single intervention model available for registered students, their partners, and even students’ families.

“It’s important to recognize that students have choices,” says Keller. “There’s the Online Therapy Unit, Psychology Training Clinic, THRIVE (community-based) and online resources such as Wellness Together Canada. We believe a sense of well-being and belonging are keys to student success and offer a great variety of health services to support students when and where they need it."

Banner image: University Advancement and Communications 

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