In response to public health authorities’ recommendation on physical distancing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 cases, the uOttawa’s Counselling Services will be offering teletherapy appointments by audio or videoconference to promote the safety of our uOttawa community.
Fall 2020 update: All counselling sessions will take place virtually until public health guidelines allow us to return in person. Same-day counselling sessions are only available virtually. The on-site office is currently open for 15 minute in-person mental health crisis assessments only.
What kind of services are offered by Counselling Services?
We offer a range of counselling services. Booking a session with one of our counsellors is often the best way to determine together what service within our Stepped-Care model is the best match for a student's needs. This may include services within our program such as short-term counselling, linking to other services within or outside of the university or it may involve on-line learning resources such as Therapy Assistance On-line (or TAO).
How can counselling services benefit me?
Counselling has been shown to be beneficial for a wide range of issues. Whether it is a single-session or short-term counselling, we work with students to better understand the challenges that they are experiencing, develop a plan, and work on building skills and strategies. These might include takeaways such as: assertiveness skills, strategies for shifting self-critical thoughts or relaxation and self-care strategies to cope with exam stress.
What services are available for exam-related stress?
When exam stress happens, many students find that reaching out for counselling reduces stress and helps with the development of new strategies. Counsellors are able to help students with anxiety, perfectionism or self-critical thoughts that may be exacerbating exam stress. There are many resources that we can link students to that can help with stress.
Do students retain the same counsellor or therapist?
Having a good fit between a student and a counsellor is an important part of successful counselling. After the first session, if it is decided by the counsellor and the student that more than one session would be helpful, students can choose to continue with the same counsellor, or they are welcome to request a different counsellor.
How do I access Counselling Services (particularly during the pandemic)?
During the pandemic we are offering virtual counselling. Contacting us is easy! You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, that’s probably the easiest way. If you're ready to make a booking you can go online and search for uOttawa counselling services and click on "book your virtual appointment". This will take you to a log in page, where you can log in using your uOttawa credentials. From here you can click on " Book an appointment" this will open up the intake questionnaire. Once you've completed the form you can view available times and make your selection.
How long is the wait time?
While many people are surprised to hear it, we do not have a waitlist! We are generally able to see students on the same day or within 24-48hours of contacting us during our peak times. Our services are easy to access, and we will always get back to you on the same day!
How much does it cost to access services?
It’s Free! There is no fee, to all registered students of uOttawa.
How frequent are sessions?
The frequency of sessions is determined collaboratively between the counsellor and the student. Generally, students have sessions every two weeks, but sessions can be more frequent or less frequent depending on needs.
Is my information protected?
Yes. Under the Personal Health Information Protection Act, Counsellors and Information Officers are bound by confidentiality except where required by law such as when we become aware of a child being abused or somebody's life is in danger. Your counsellor will review the limits to confidentiality with you during your initial session. All interactions with our service are kept confidential and all information is stored in accordance with privacy standards.
Is there a limit to how many sessions I have access to?
We believe that every student's needs are different. While our service is generally short-term, students develop a plan with their counsellor that best suits their needs. Most students find that up to 8 sessions is suitable to support most challenges. If the issues warrant long-term support or specialized services, we work in a collaborative way with students to make appropriate referrals as early as possible in the counselling process so that the student is able to quickly access specialized services to meet their needs. If you have accessed our service in the past, you are welcome to access our service for further counselling if new issues arise throughout your time at uOttawa.
How do I know which service best fits my needs?
Our Stepped-Care model is designed to provide a range of services based on the reality that some issues that students experience are best supported with informational resources or self-directed on-line learning programs while other issues benefit from counselling or mentoring. Our website has some great resources to help you decide but if you are in doubt, book a single-session with one of our counsellors and we can support you to make the decision about which path is best for you.
What issues can be addressed by Counselling Services and which ones would need a referral to another service?
Many students contact our services because of various mental health issues. They are feeling anxious or depressed or maybe they have been diagnosed with a specific disorder. We are here to help students with a range of mental health challenges because we know that it can be very difficult to work through these challenges alone. We refer to outside services when we feel that that would be most helpful based on needs, not solely on diagnosis. Students are encouraged to work with their counsellor to make to best plan moving forward.
Stepped Care Model
The Counselling office offers a range of accessible resources and services based on the Stepped Care model.
Our student-centered approach aims to support and empower students so that they can thrive and find their own path to academic success and wellness.
Hours of operation
We offer modified services until further notice.
On-campus hours - September 8, 2020 to May 15, 2021
|Monday||9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.|
|Tuesday||10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.|
|Wednesday||9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.|
|Thursday||10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.|
|Friday||8:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.|
Please note we will be closed from from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday.
Virtual hours - September 8, 2020 to May 15, 2021
|Monday||8:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.|
|Tuesday||8:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.|
|Wednesday||8:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.|
|Thursday||8:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.|
|Friday||8:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.|
We will be closed on the following Holidays: Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Family Day, and Easter.
- Mental Health and Wellness
- International office
- Health Services
- Office of the Ombudsperson
- Human Rights Office
- Graduate Students Association of the University of Ottawa
- Academic Accommodation
- Academic Writing Help Centre
- Mentoring Centres
- Career Development Centre
- University of Ottawa Multi-Faith Chaplaincy Services
- eMental Health
- Walk-In Counselling Clinic
- Community Health and Resource Centres of Ottawa
- Counselling and Family Service Ottawa
- Family Services Ottawa
- The Counselling Group
- Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre (ORCC)
- Ottawa Mindfulness Clinic
- Counselling and Psychotherapy Centre St Paul University
- Ottawa Addictions Access and Referral Services
- Bereaved Families of Ontario
- Ottawa Trauma and Anxiety Clinic
Other helpful links
- Accessible Campus:
- Online life skills for everyone
- Holistic approach to managing the feeling of anxiety
- Manage the physiology of anxiety, stress and depression
- Understand how you like to receive love
- My compass (Clinical Resources for Mental Health)