Important Information about accessing Mental Health Services during COVID-19
During COVID-19, many students are studying outside the province of Alberta. Our mental health team are licensed to practice in Alberta. In some circumstances, team members are able to obtain temporary licensure to provide mental health services to students located in other select provinces on an as-needed basis.
Students currently residing outside of Alberta are encouraged to contact SWSMentalHealth@ucalgary.ca to confirm eligibility for services. Please indicate the current province in which you are located and the province of your primary residence (if different). If you are not eligible for services, we will help connect you to alternative supports.
Our counsellors can help you address concerns, no matter where you are on the Mental Health Continuum. Common concerns students experience are stress and anxiety, depression, loneliness and isolation, and relationship issues. If you’re dealing with these or other issues, counselling might be right for you.
For counselling to be effective, it’s important to build a trusting relationship with your counsellor. Talking to a counsellor can help you make positive change to your expectations or behaviours to improve your mental health and well-being.
UCalgary counselling services
Our clinic provides free and confidential counselling to UCalgary students. For timely access to mental health support, Student Wellness Services now offers single session counselling.
During COVID-19, you can access counselling services remotely via Microsoft Teams. Learn what to expect from virtual counselling
How do I see a counsellor?
Single Session Counselling appointments are available on a bookable basis. To book an appointment, call 403-210-9355 or book online.
How do I prepare for counselling?
Before you meet with a counsellor, consider what you want to be different as a result of accessing counselling. Think about how you'll know if counselling is (or has been) helping?
Please give one full business day's notice if you need to cancel an appointment. You might be billed for late cancellations or missed appointments.
Single session counselling provides faster access to support at the time when students (you!) need it most. You might think of it as “one at a time” counselling: For your counselling appointment you will have about an hour to explore concerns, gain insights, and co-create some ideas and strategies you can leave the appointment with. You can access single session counselling as many times as you need.
What to expect
The counsellor's role is to listen closely and help create a collaborative plan based on your own values, skills, and strengths. Many of our students find that one session of counselling meets their needs, but if you feel at the end of the session something more is needed, you can discuss this with the counsellor, and further supports on or off campus will also be explored.
Is there a session limit?
You may access Single Session Counselling more than once; however, before rebooking we hope you have had an opportunity to engage in the next steps or plans co-created during your previous session. This will help you maximize your counselling experience.
Brief individual counselling
Student Wellness Services (SWS) also uses a short-term, goal-focused counselling model. We provide individual counselling using traditional 50-minute sessions to address concerns that may interfere with students realizing their optimum level of wellness. Students referred to brief individual counselling will collaborate with their counsellor to address what is achievable within our short-term model. Progress toward goals is assessed in each session.
Why is counselling brief?
The mandate of Alberta post-secondary institutions is to provide counselling services using a brief (short-term) counselling model. This also helps to ensure we can support as many students as possible. Most students are able to meet their counselling goals within this model.
Is there a session limit?
There is no specific limit to the number of counselling sessions you can receive. Counsellors will work with you to address your concerns within the brief counselling model. They can also support you in accessing additional mental health support in the community, if needed.
What if I want or need longer-term counselling?
If it’s determined that longer term and/or more specialized support would be beneficial, you'll be supported in the transition to appropriate community support.
*NOTE: During COVID-19, all mental health services will be remote and can be booked through Student Wellness Services by phoning 403.210.9355 or booking online.
Counsellors are embedded in certain faculties and departments to support students directly in their locations on campus. See below for a current list of the locations and how you can access services.
Faculties and Departments
Engineering: Bookable through Student Wellness Services by calling 403.210.9355.
Foothills Campus (university medical education [UME], veterinary medicine, bachelor of health sciences students and graduate students): Bookable through Student Wellness Services by calling 403.210.9355.
Student Success Centre (for academic-related concerns): By referral from an academic development specialists in the Student Success Centre
Career Services (for career-related mental health concerns): By referral from a career services specialist
In an emergency or crisis
If you're experiencing a crisis and feel unable to cope, and/or Student Wellness Services is closed, contact our after-hours support. They are available at any time of the day or night to offer assistance.
Urgent support is available for students in very high distress. You can access it at Student Wellness Services Monday to Friday at 3 p.m.
Examples of urgent situations include (but are not limited to):
- Feeling suicidal and at risk of acting on these feelings
- A recent trauma, such as sexual or physical assault
- Struggling with thoughts that you might severely hurt another person(s)
- Experiencing a panic attack
Direct access services
Mental health support includes more than one-on-one counselling. Find the right service option for you.
Want to talk to someone who gets it? Find a peer support program that fits your schedule. Find peer support options »
Learn new coping skills and strategies at your own pace. Our online learning options include videos, online mindfulness, and webinars. View self-help resources »
Looking for effective strategies to maintain positive mental health? Register for one of our workshops »
Looking to learn new skills to maintain your well-being? View our group programs to find the right support for you. Find a group program »