Stepped Care Model

A therapist can guide you to determine your best options based on your needs!

  • Efficient integration of counselling and SASS-wide services, including the university community as a whole.
  • Students will experience more autonomy and a higher level of competency in order to continue succeeding at uOttawa. 
  • Program options are based on individual student needs and strength.


Diagram of the Stepped Care Model:  

Pyramid of stepped care options


Option 1: Get Started

This option includes:

  • Access to online resources such as books, apps, podcasts and worksheets;
  • Means to develop mental health literacy;
  • Opportunities for you to take responsibility for your own wellness and mental health care.

Explore the online wellness resources

Option 2: Walk-in

This option provides:

  • Rapid access to a single counselling session;
  • Short term services to improve academic success;
  • An action plan developed in collaboration with a professional counsellor, allowing you to take charge of your wellness and achieve your goals.

Walk-In Clinic

Option 3: Online self-directed therapy - TAO

This option includes:

  • A self-directed process allowing you to access online interactive resources and modules on topics such as managing anxiety and depression;
  • Different remedial approaches to mental health such as mindfulness, cognitive-behavioural therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy;
  • Tools for students who are ready to engage in a gradual change process;
  • Assistance from a therapist, as needed.

Access TAO Self-Help (Online Support)

Option 4: Skills Development

This option includes:

  • Peer support on campus to address emotional, health and academic needs (peer counselling, physical activity counselling, health promotion workshops, mentoring and study groups)

Develop your skills here

Option 5: Group Programming

This option includes:

  • In-person group therapy to support student mental health;
  • Best practice approaches for depression, anxiety, stress, and interpersonal relationships;
  • An opportunity to develop a sense of community and resiliency;
  • Referral by a therapist to a group that fits your interests and needs.

Schedule of drop-in workshops and support groups


Option 6: Meet a Counsellor

This option provides:

  • Short term intensive individual counselling process (6 to 8 sessions);
  • Student readiness to engage and face challenges related to the process of change;
  • Length and number of sessions determined by the therapist’s professional and clinical judgment as well as the assessment of progress made;
  • Sessions may be conducted weekly, every two to three weeks or monthly, depending on student’s progress and needs;
  • Homework may be required to monitor the desired outcomes.

Book your consultation appointment with a counsellor

Option 7: Referrals

This option includes:

  • A referral process to access specialized mental health care or specific services;
  • On campus: Community Counselling Service, Centre for Psychological Services and Research, Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre, University of Ottawa Health Services;
  • Off campus: Community mental health services - addiction, violence and trauma, eating disorders, LGBT2SQ, etc.
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