The Counselling Centre

The Counselling Centre

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The Counselling Centre provides a broad range of confidential services all free of charge to students currently registered and attending classes at Saint Mary's.

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We offer individual personal counselling, academic & life skills coaching and consultations. Our team of professionals will help you meet your academic and personal goals. We understand how stressful university life can be and how making small changes can have a huge impact. Staff are generalists in their training with experience working with University students.

We try our best to respond as quickly as possible to meet the needs of our students. We are not an emergency clinic therefore we will refer all emergencies to the QEII Emergency Department (18 and over), located on Robie Street or the IWK Emergency Department (younger than 18), located on South Street.

Our hours during the academic year are 8:30am-12:00pm, 1:00pm-4:30pm and during the summer 8:30am-12:00pm, 1:00pm-4:00pm.

When students first come to The Counselling Centre they are required to complete an intake form which takes 5-10 minutes. Students who have never used the services of The Counselling Centre have the opportunity to drop in for their first session, in order to be seen immediately when it best suits their schedule. You will meet with our Intake & Programs Coordinator for approximately 30 minutes to discuss your concerns and options. Drop in times are as follows: Monday/Thursday/Friday: 1pm-4pm and Tuesday/Wednesday: 8:30am-11:30am.

All new students for Academic & Life Skills Coaching also have an opportunity for a drop in session first. Drop in times for this service are offered Monday: 8:30am-11:30am and Tuesday: 1pm-4pm.

Note: Drop in times are subject to change. Students are seen on a first come-first served basis. Subsequent appointments for Counselling and Coaching will be scheduled for set times.

Returning students can book an appointment for personal counselling and/or academic & life skills coaching by calling 902-420-5615, emailing or dropping by our office, 4th Floor, Student Centre (turn left once you get off the elevator) or you can book online.

Morneau Shepell offers 24/7 free, confidential phone, email and web counselling to Saint Mary's students. If you are an emergency or crisis after hours, please contact Morneau-Shepell at 1-855-649-8641 and tell them you need immediate assistance. This service is confidential and you will speak with a Counsellor right away if you are in crisis.

To view Morneau Shepell's new student support website visit and be sure to check out the articles on: Managing stress with yoga, mental health myths, etc.

What is Peer Support?

Peer Support happens in a relationship between people who have experiences in common. This could be a mental illness, stress or anxiety, a difficult time in life, or university adjustment. Peer Supporters offer their fellow students emotional and social support as they too have struggled.  This support is grounded in hope, empowerment, and recovery.

Peer Support focuses on health and recovery rather than on illness and disability. Supporters can help individuals move towards a greater sense of self-confidence and wellbeing.

All students are welcome to visit a Peer Supporter during drop-in hours. Peer Support can be an additional resource from students already seeking treatment as well as a safe, confidential space for students to talk to a trained peer.

Who are my Peer Supporters?

Peer Supporters are students who have experience dealing with mental health concerns. These students are trained within the Stay Connected Mental Health Project and The Counselling Centre to support their peers through active listening, goal-setting, and resource referral. As students, Supporters understand how stressful university life can be. Peer Supporters are here to help with a lot of mental health concerns including managing stress, coping strategies, relationship problems, and referrals to other important resources.

Sexual Assault Brochure & Sexual Misconduct Reporting Referral Form

Addictions Community-Based Services Program Schedule

For more information on mental health and life balance please visit

Healthy Minds is now available for free for iPhone, iPad, iPad mini and iPod Touch through the App Store or through and, where printable promotional materials are also available.

Transitions is a free mental health booklet. To view the booklet please click the link .

The Counselling Centre has various mental health initiatives we have developed which include: how to help a student in distress, SMU Talks for Faculty and Staff, WellTrack an online mood tracker for students and much more.

SMU offers some great InBalance Wellness programs. Please visit to view upcoming events/sessions being held.

The Counselling Centre is offering two Mental Health 101 sessions for Faculty and Staff to learn how to identify and respond to students in distress. These sessions will be held on Monday, October 24, 2016 from 2:30-4:00pm and Monday, November 14, 2016 from 2:30-4:00pm in the Private Dining Room. To register please email

October Thoughts From The Counseling Centre

Making A Difference

The following passage is adapted from “101 Healing Stories” by George W. Burns:

A young couple was walking along the beach after several days of wild storms. The sea had been whipped into a frenzy. Turbulent waves and high tides had littered the shores with hapless sea creatures. Jellyfish, starfish, and other marine animals coated the beach like a dying blanket.

As they walked along they saw an old man on the shoreline, weaving in and out of the water. He bent down and picked up one of the sea creatures. He cradled it gently in his hands, waded out into the water, and released back into its home. He returned to the shore, picked up yet another creature, and gently carried back into the water.

The couple began to laugh. As they approached, they asked, “What are you doing, old man? The shore is covered with thousands of dead and dying creatures. Your efforts won’t make any difference.”

The men picked up a young octopus that seemed lifeless. He nursed it carefully in his hands and walked back into the ocean as if ignoring the couple.

He lowered the octopus into the water, washing away the sand and seaweed that had collected over it and entangled its tentacles. Slowly lowering his hands, he left the little creature to again feel the caress of the sea. It spread its arms, sensing the reviving pleasures of its familiar home. His hand cupped the young animal until it mustered the strength to propel itself forward. He stood watching, a faint smile on his face at the pleasure of seeing another creature safely on its way.

Only then did he turn and retrace his steps to the shore. He lifted up his gaze, looked the couple in the eyes and said, “I made a difference for that one.”

During your time with us at Saint Mary’s and throughout your life, remind yourself to focus on what is possible…where you have control…why your effort matters…and how you can make a difference.

The Counselling Centre Staff