Counselling Services

We offer free, confidential, time-limited supports to all registered SFU students. Our services address a wide variety of concerns and include initial consultation and assessment, information and referral, crisis support and safety planning, and individual and group counselling. We provide education, training, and consultation to assist campus community members in supporting suicidal students and students in distress. We facilitate the Back on Track course for students in academic difficulty. Counselling services is also a highly regarded training site, offering professional training at the master’s and doctoral levels. Our services are provided by qualified counsellors, registered psychologists, and their professional student-trainees.

Are you on the waitlist to see a counsellor? You don't have to struggle alone. 

Talking to a mental health professional is important, and a lot of students have different needs that can be met by other service providers in the meantime while you wait.

  • Access Case Managers are available by drop-in. You can ask for tips finding resources or support for specific issues, or you can talk to them about issues you're experiencing that are impacting your day-to-day life.
  • The Transition Case Manager is here to support students from international pathways (both undergraduate and graduate) and their transition into and out of SFU. Transition can mean many things and international students can face an array of challenges while at SFU.
  • Mental Health Nurses can support complex mental illness and medication management, as well as support through grief, loss, and violence.
  • My SSP offers more immediate counselling options by chat, call, or in-person/virtual appointment.
  • Groups are available via self-referral and you can meet with others going through a similar experience as you.

What is Counselling?

When people are in distress because of life difficulties, talking to someone can help. Sometimes friends, family, and community are the best sources support, but at other times you need professional care. With a counsellor, you can build a trusting, professional relationship to help you work through problems that may be getting in the way of your university success. 

Common issues that students seek help with include adjusting to major transitions, identity development, decision-making, family and social relationships, and mental health concerns. We also specialize in helping students overcome issues that cause academic distress such as procrastination, exam anxiety, perfectionism, and problems with attention and motivation. No matter what issues you want to address, counsellors at Health & Counselling strive to bring a multicultural, anti-oppressive, social-justice orientation to the counselling process.

At Health & Counselling, registered clinical counsellors and registered psychologists work within a brief model of care to promote positive growth, well-being, and mental health. The counselling process is holistic and client-centred and pursued with sensitivity to diverse sociocultural factors unique to each individual.

What can I expect?

When you call the front desk, you can request support for a mental health concern. Make sure to let the receptionist know if you are in crisis or distress, so they can connect you with the first available doctor, mental health nurse, or access case manager in order to help you right away.

If you are not in crisis or distress (or after the crisis situation has been stabilized), you will be directed to the first available provider (mental health nurse, access case manager, or counselling) for an access appointment. This a 50-minute appointment to find out what your main concerns are and offer some immediate support, information, and resources. At the access appointment the service provider will make a referral to the appropriate step of care, based on the nature of your concern and your stage of readiness.

Counselling is currently operating by video appointment.

As the pandemic and restrictions ease, counselling services will be offered at Burnaby, Vancouver (Harbour Centre), and Surrey campuses.

Student Experiences

Read about student experiences accessing mental health supports in our Counselling Services blog series, This Being Human: Stories of Hope and Resilience. Read now