Referral Programs

Ask us about our referral programs.

There are a lot of ways to improve your health and well-being. At SFU, our team of doctors and counsellors have created a wide range of programs that can help you improve and maintain your health and well-being.

See a program that you're interested in? Call us to book an appointment with one of our doctors or counsellors and ask if the program is right for you.

Current Referral Programs

MOVE Group

This programme, made up of two series of sessions, is dedicated to helping participants manage low mood and anxiety.  Mindfulness, openness, values and engagement to be explored. 

This group takes place on Tuesdays from 2:00pm to 3:30pm in Group Rooms 1 and 2 (enter through Career Services in MBC 0300). 

First series of sessions:
Oct 8 - Oct 29

Second series of Sessions:
Nov 5 - Nov 26

For referral, please contact Liliana Cortes at

Dissertation & Thesis Support Group

Students writing their dissertation or thesis often feel stuck, overwhelmed, and isolated.

Reconnect with your creativity and motivation.

This group is a safe and confidential space for graduate students writing theses or dissertations to share their experiences and receive support. Focus on peer emotional support, goal setting, and anxiety/stress management.

This group takes place Thursdays from 10:45am to 12:15pm and 2:00pm to 3:30pm in MBC 0309. It starts on Sept 12 and ends on Nov 28.

For referrals and inquires, please contact Susan Brook at

Dungeons and Worry Dragons

Face your demons – literally! Group members become players in the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop role-playing game, therapeutically facilitated to encourage group members to build social skills to combat depression and anxiety.

Tabletop role-playing games (such as Dungeons & Dragons) can increase confidence, creativity, and problem solving skills – all while having fun playing as powerful adventurers in a fantasy world. Facilitated by a clinical counsellor, this group uses teamwork, role-play, and imagination to encourage participants to meet the challenges they encounter in daily life, and is especially helpful for those suffering from low mood and social anxiety.

This program will take place Fridays from 11:30am to 1:00pm, from Sept 27 to Nov 29.

For referral to this program, please contact David Lindskoog at

Mindful Medicine for Women of Colour

Join other self-identified women of colour for a 6-week therapy group focused on mindfulness and self-compassion. In this group, we will use different mindfulness strategies and self-compassion practices, therapeutic dialogue, and journaling exercises to explore issues of diversity, equity, social justice and self-care. Trans women welcome and encouraged.

This program is led by Tanu Gamble and Ly Hoang.

Tanu Gamble is Haida and Tsimshian from the North Coast of B.C. She is a clinical counsellor at SFU, providing services to Indigenous students.

Ly Hoang is a refugee from Vietnam. She is a clinical counsellor in Health and Counselling Services on the Burnaby campus.

It will take place Tuesdays from 2:00pm to 4:00pm in the Video Room in Health & Counselling (MBC 0101), from Sept 24 to Oct 29.

For referral to this program, please contact Ly Hoang at

Cultivating Self-Compassion

This program is an empirically-supported 8-week course designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion. It combines the skills of mindfulness and self-compassion to enhance capacity for emotional well-being.

This program also allows and encourages participants to self-reflect and explore their inner landscape. This is ideal for people who experience self-criticism, low self-esteem or low self-worth, perfectionism, care-giver fatigue, burnout, low self-motivation, challenging relationships, difficulties managing stress, and difficulties being kind to themselves.

It will take place Wednesdays from 3:00pm to 4:30pm in Group Rooms 1 & 2 (enter through Career Services in MBC 0300). It starts on Oct 2 and ends on Nov 13.

For referral to this program, please call us to book an appointment with one of our doctors or counsellors to ask if the program is right for you.

Nurturing Resilience

Nurturing Resilience is a weekly support group for students of all genders who have experienced any form of sexual violence. Developed in partnership with the SFSS Women's Centre, SFU's Health & Counselling Services and SFU's Sexual Violence Support & Prevention Office, this group meets weekly in the Video Room at Health & Counselling Services (Room 0309) on Tuesdays, 2:00pm-4:00pm from *Sept 17 to Dec 3, 2019.

*There is no session on Tuesday, October 15.

For more information about joining the group, please contact Erica Van Driel, Counsellor, at

Light snacks and beverages will be provided.

Call us to book an appointment with one of our doctors or counsellors and ask if the program is right for you.

External Referral Programs

Youth Mindfulness Program with the YMCA

Everyone experiences worries and anxiety. The key is to learn how to make sure these don’t get in the way of doing things you care about! The Youth Mindfulness Group offers a free 7-week psychoeducational support group for young adults ages 18-30 who experience anxiety. Participants learn healthy coping skills, connect with other youth in the community, and get support all in a safe and friendly environment. The program is overseen by mental health practitioners. 

The group includes:

  • Engaging discussions about anxiety and other mental health related topics
  • Practicing evidence-based mindfulness techniques during workshops, a proven tool to help manage anxiety
  • Educational tools from Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), an evidenced-based therapy that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies
  • Take-home resources to help manage anxiety in between weekly meetings
  • A YMCA gym membership to encourage youth to manage their anxiety through physical activity

If anxiety is impacting your life and preventing you from doing what you want or need to do, this group can help support you. Join us at the SFU Surrey-TD Community Engagement Centre located at the Surrey City Centre Library to learn mindfulness techniques, get helpful tools and resources, and meet other like-minded youth.

This program takes place in room 401 at the Surrey City Centre Library (10350 University Drive, Surrey) from 6pm-8pm. Information sessions take place on October 2nd and 9th. The program begins on October 23rd and ends on December 4th.

For referrals and inquiries, please contact the YMCA directly at

Past Referral Programs

The Anxiety Toolkit

This program has 3 sessions dedicated to building skills and tools that will help reduce and manage anxiety.

ACT+: Navigating Anxiety

Do you worry a lot about the future? What others think of you? Where your life is going?

Worrisome thoughts can wreak havoc on your life: disturbing your sleep, appetite, relationships, school work, and more. Everyone experiences anxiety, but the key is to learn how not to let it stand in the way of doing things you care deeply about. Experiential learning will provide you with a new set of skills which will allow you to:

  • free yourself from the constant struggle with worries, anxieties and fears; 
  • reduce unnecessary suffering anxiety can cause; 
  • and get your life back, simply by changing your relationship with your thoughts and feelings. 

A Mindfulness, Acceptance, and Commitment Therapy (ACT) approach for anxiety.

This program takes place Wednesdays from 9:30am to 11:00am in Group Rooms 1 & 2. It starts on May 22 and ends July 24.

Skills for Successful Self-Management

Learn to de-clutter your mind and control your emotional reactions.

Life can be hard and sometimes dealing with people can be a struggle. This program will help you to balance your priorities and demands both in life and in relationships and help you gain skills in how to deal with people in effective ways.

ADHD Group Medical Visit (GMV)

Learn about ADHD so you can make informed choices about your own care.

This program is open to you if you have a documented diagnosis of ADHD, and if you are receiving medication or are considering receiving medication to optimize management of your ADHD symptoms. In this program, we hope you'll be better able to:

  • Learn about ADHD medications
  • Learn how ADHD symptoms affect your life
  • Identify your ADHD treatment needs
  • Learn practical tools to help better manage your aDHD symptoms affecting your educational and personal life
  • Meet your academic goals

Better Coping

Get ahead of stress. Gain skills and tools for academic success and personal wellness.

Run as a seminar, we invite you to check in each week with one thing you are struggling with (either through direct sharing or sharing through art/creative activities), and/or one goal you have for yourself.

Hope & Safety

A support group for women who have survived sexual violence.

This is a support group for self-identified women who have survived sexual violence. Join us for a series offered in partnership with the SFU Women's Centre.

The Feeling Good Program

Acquire proven tools, skills, and strategies that can enhance mood, reduce anxiety, and help us better manage stress.

Feeling down, anxious, or overly stressed can sap energy and motivation, disturb sleep and interfere with life, concentration, learning, and academic performance.  That’s the bad news.

The good news: there are effective practices that can enhance mood, reduce anxiety, and help us better manage stress. These sessions focus on just that. 

Each week we examine a specific practice for enhancing well-being. We cycle through topics at least once each term.  

Those include:

  • Getting Active – Feeling better through doing more
  • Practicing Positive Psychology – Applying the science of happiness
  • Sleep – How to get a better night’s sleep
  • Rumination – Reducing cognitive “chewing & stewing”
  • Helpful Thinking – Awareness, acceptance, and flexibility
  • Managing Worry – How to worry more effectively
  • Talking to Ourselves – From self-criticism to self-compassion
  • Stress Management – Effective ways to manage stressors and our response to them

Come expecting to acquire proven tools, skills, and strategies.  Leave prepared to practice in order to enhance well-being and improve academic performance.

Each session will end with participants setting a personal goal to apply some “Feeling Good” practice that week.  Each session will begin with a check in on how that week’s practice went.

Dealing with Stress 101

A body-centered program designed to enhance coping strategies for managing stress, anxiety, and mood through increased self-awareness and mindfulness.

A high percentage of SFU students come to Health & Counselling to ask about how to deal with anxiety, stress, and lack of sleep. 

Do you feel overwhelmed? Are you experiencing low mood or energy, and do you have difficulty focusing on your coursework?

You are not alone.

In this seminar, participants will have the opportunity to learn and participate in a supportive conversation circle and engage in the gentle practice of yoga and guided meditation. These proven techniques are empowering and will leave participants with a lifelong toolkit for dealing with the stress and anxiety in their lives.

Managing Academic Distress

Practice and explore new strategies to cope with academic or emotional distress, procrastination, and anxiety from transitioning to post secondary.

Active Health Program

A body-centered program designed to enhance coping strategies for managing stress, anxiety, and mood through increased self-awareness and mindfulness.

A growing body of evidence shows exercise can positively impact depression.

The Active Health Program at Simon Fraser University is an interdisciplinary collaboration between Health & Counselling Services and SFU Recreation offering students being treated for depression or anxiety an option to supplement their treatment with exercise. Please see a Health & Counselling Services doctor for referral to the program.

Participation in this program would include meeting with a personal trainer to participate in moderate physical activity for one semester. It would require additional commitment to attend orientation at beginning of semester, brief weekly check-ins on Active Health Canvas course, one scheduled follow up with Mental Health Nurse, and a wind-up session at the end of semester.

Winner of the 2017 Best Practices Award in College Health from the American College Health Association (ACHA) for excellence and innovation in college health clinical services.

Skills for Interpersonal Awareness

This program will run every Thursday from January 24 to February 28th from 1:30 to 3:30 pm. This group will involve learning and developing strategies for setting boundaries, healthy communication, and discerning wants/needs in the context of relationships and friendships. 

Skills for Emotional Regulation

This program will run every Tuesday from 2:00 to 4:00 pm, starting on January 29th and ending on March 5th. Group members will learn practical strategies for identifying and managing distress in ways that promote well-being.

Exposure and Response Prevention for OCD

This program will take place Wednesdays from 1:30 to 3:00 pm, on February 13, 20, March 6, March 13, March 20, and March 27.

This group will be a 6-week psychoeducational and therapeutic group designed specifically to treat symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. The group will run for 1.5 hours weekly for 6 weeks. With assistance from the facilitators, clients will create a list of graded imaginal or in vivo exposure tasks and will participate in these tasks each session, with the support of the group. Clients will also learn methods for coping with attendant anxiety and distress.

Roots and Resilience

The Roots and Resilience group is a gender-inclusive group that runs out of the all-gender resource area of the SFSS Women's Centre. The group is co-facilitated by Beth Triano, clinical counsellor and Sasha Boniface, a Master-level student counsellor. This group is for all students who are survivors of sexual violence and referrals to this group should be directed to 

The group takes place bi-weekly on Tuesdays from 2pm to 4pm on the following dates:

  • January 29th
  • February 12th
  • February 26th
  • March 21st
  • March 26th
  • April 2nd
  • April 9th

This is a welcoming space to foster community building, growth and healing with and for survivors. Light snacks will be provided at each session. 

*The all genders resource area can be accessed by a nearby elevator. Our centre is wheelchair and scooter accessible with access to accessible and gender-inclusive washrooms nearby. We are an allergen- and scent-reduced space.

Looking for a program or workshop that's open for anyone? Check out our drop-in programs and events.

Looking for a program or workshop that's open for anyone? Check out our drop-in programs and events.