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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The Counselling Centre along with The Stay Connected Mental Health Project & SMUSA are hiring a Peer Support Worker for the 2017-2018 year. Please see the job description here. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, March 1, 2017.

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.

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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.


February Thoughts from The Counselling Centre

 Making the Most of Being Single…On Valentines Day

February 14th, as well as midnight on December 31st, are two times each year that many people experience increased pressure to be in a romantic relationship.

Although it could be argued that this pressure exists year round, these two days can be particularly stressful for singles. This month, we look at how to make the most of being single on Valentine’s Day.

A few tips:

- Accept that there will be certain periods in your life before that “special person” has made an appearance. For those of you who wonder if your ex was that person, take some time to think about whether he or she may have been the right person for you at that point in your life…but that the right person for this stage and beyond has yet to arrive.

- Avoid the temptation to jump into a relationship because you believe that you simply can’t be alone. Whether this is on a rebound or because you feel that you can’t be happy being single, remember that this kind of reasoning can lead to some pretty bad choices in relationships. Sure, we all know that it is unreasonable to expect perfection with regard to our partners, but holding out for “very good” probably isn’t such a bad idea!

- Remind yourself that the reason you are not in a relationship is either because you choose not to be, or because you have not yet found the right person and you will not simply settle for being with anyone.

- Think about possible opportunities to meet people outside of your traditional circles. For example, if you commonly have the experience of not connecting especially well with people on campus, at bars, etc., try broadening your horizons a bit. Consider taking a non-academic class off campus, joining a club, or participating in an activity that you have always wanted to try. Even if it doesn’t produce a relationship you will still have fun, engage with other socially, and perhaps learn something new

- On Valentine’s Day, treat yourself well. Watch your favorite movie, take a break from your studies (if possible), or buy your favorite specialty coffee that you usually don’t allow yourself to have. Or even better, buy that favorite coffee and give it to someone else!

- Connect with your friends – especially your single friends. Perhaps you could get together for a great dinner or a special night out. Many of the friendships from university will be difficult to maintain after you graduate (think about how many people you still see from high school)…enjoy the freedom you have today and make those lasting memories now.

Cheers to all the Saint Mary’s singles from The Counselling Centre!