The Counselling Centre

The Counselling Centre


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Please Note: The Counselling is currently unavailable to provide drop in appointments for new stuents to our service until further notice. New students can book an appointment time by walk in, telephone 902-420-5615, emailing counselling@smu.ca or booking online.

Below is a video on The Counselling Centre and how to utilize our services:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1MuaaLkq6IlNDRZelBrTC1GRkk 

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 (19 years old and over), located on Robie Street or the IWK Emergency Department (under 19 years old), 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 counselling@smu.ca 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 http://mystudentsupport.com/ 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.

For more information on mental health and life balance please visit http://ourhealthyminds.com/.

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

Transitions is a free mental health booklet. To view the booklet please click the link http://teenmentalhealth.org/toolbox/transitions/ .

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 http://www.smu.ca/campus-life/inbalance-wellness-program to view upcoming events/sessions being held.


March Thoughts from The Counselling Centre

 Universal Approval

This month, let’s take a look at an interesting passage from one of the many books available for loan from The Counselling Centre. The book is by Alan Cohen and has the rather unique title of “Why Your Life Sucks…and what you can do about it.”

The following passage comes from a chapter on the potential consequences of spending too much time and energy trying to please others. The author is certainly not advocating selfishness and egocentrism, but rather, the benefits of recognizing when relentless efforts to please others are counterproductive.

“It is impossible to defeat an enemy who has an outpost in your head. Your enemies are not your dysfunctional parents or punitive schoolteachers; your enemies are the thoughts they instilled in you that you still believe. It doesn’t matter if your authority figures are living or dead, right or wrong, nasty or transformed; their influence exerts itself through your agreement with it – right beside your power to remove it.

“Let’s get one fact straight right now: you will never, never, never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever, never, ever, never, ever, never, ever, never get anyone’s approval all the time. No one ever has and you won’t be the first. You won’t be able to get everyone to like any one thing you do, and you won’t get any one person to like everything you do. So give up your quest for universal admiration right now: it is never ending, and infinitely frustrating. If you are ever going to receive the approval you seek, it is going to have to come from you.”

“Is your life an expression of your heart’s desire, or someone else’s?”

Until next time,

The staff of The Counselling Centre at Saint Mary’s University