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Health & Counselling offers free, confidential, time-limited counselling support to all registered SFU and FIC students, from any campus. The counselling team provides initial consultation and assessment, information and referral, workshops, crisis support, safety planning, and individual and group counselling to address various concerns. Counselling services are provided by Registered Clinical Counsellors, Registered Psychologists, and their professional student-trainees. There are also specialized counselling options available.
Health & Counselling offers brief, short-term counselling with sessions typically scheduled two to four weeks apart.
Average attendance for brief counselling is three to four appointments and depending on circumstances, additional appointments may be available in consultation with your counsellor depending upon need.
Common concerns that may be addressed in brief/short-term therapy may include:
- Stress, anger, loneliness, guilt, relationship issues
- Performance anxiety, perfectionism, procrastination
- Adjustment to university life
- Substance use
- Trauma, grief and loss
- Anxiety/depression (as appropriate for brief therapy)
How to access services?
If you're looking for mental health support, like counselling, call the front desk and ask to schedule an intake appointment. Within 48 business hours you will be matched with the next available clinician.
Before your appointment, you will be asked to complete a short questionnaire regarding your concerns and request for support. Then, during your 30-minute appointment, the mental health clinician will ask some questions to clarify what you would like help with and will review your questionnaire with you. They will then talk with you to identify a goal and an action plan of support including resources to best accommoadate your concerns. This may include:
- A single-session counselling follow-up
- Short-term counselling (with practicum counsellors, pre-doctoral interns, counsellors or psychologists)
- Group counselling
- My SSP (My Student Support Plan)
- Online self-help resources
- Campus and community referrals and support
- Community referral for longer term counselling
If you are referred to another resource outside of Health & Counselling, the Clinican will provide support and assist you in accessing appropriate community resources and referrals.
Are you a returning client?
You are still encouraged to schedule a rapid access/intake appointment by calling the front desk or booking online. If you are looking for specialized counselling options, then you can book with the provider as required.
Intake Appointment Schedule
Monday to Friday
- 9:30am to 11:30am
- 1:30pm to 3:30pm
Appointments can be booked up to 48 hours in advance by phone 778-782-4615 or online (coming soon).
Single Session Counselling Follow-up
You may be scheduled in a 30 or 50 minute, in person or remote, single session appointment to follow-up with your concerns presented during a rapid access/intake appointment.
At this appointment, the clinician will work with you to identify a detailed goal and action plan for addressing your support needs and creating change, which may also include being referred to additional resources such as short-term counselling, group counselling, or longer-term counselling in the community.
Examples for why a single session follow up may be scheduled include: managing academic stress and anxiety around an exam or project, relationship issues with parents or partner, coping with a recent break-up, or skills for enhancing mood or sleep.
Brief/short-term counselling is goal-oriented in nature and active participation in the process is essential for progress, change, and growth. At the beginning of your sessions, you will discuss the goals you would like to accomplish and you will be asked to provide your counsellor with feedback regarding service along the way in order to get the most out of your sessions.
Specific concerns well suited for short-term counselling include: various kinds of anxiety (worry, social, test), stress, mild to moderate depression, adjustment and transition to university, acculturation, family and relationship concerns, loneliness, identity concerns.
Following short-term counselling you may be referred to a group-based program, longer-term counselling in the community or other campus and community based supports.
- Single session follow-up or short term counselling appointments can be booked in consultation with the clinician during your 30-minute rapid access/intake appointment.
- You must be currently registered in courses or co-op to be eligible for counselling. Typically, your first appointment will be scheduled within a few weeks of your consultation (wait times depend upon demand for services at the time).
- Once you have booked your first appointment, you will be required to complete a short questionnaire in the student health portal regarding your personal wellbeing, circumstances and needs.
Group-based programs can help you develop skills, manage distress, and build social connections. It can feel intimidating to join a group, but you will quickly discover you are not alone in your experiences, and you will gain collective support in a compassionate and productive way. Research shows that group-based programs can be even more effective than individual counselling. Some things to note:
- There are a variety of groups offered covering different topics (ex: social anxiety, mood, trauma)
- Some groups are a single session or drop-in, whereas some are a four to eight week commitment.
- Some groups require a pre-screen or questionnaire to ensure it's the right fit.
- There is never an additional cost for groups.
Browse groups now and ask questions during your consultation appointment or at your next doctor's visit. more
My SSP is a service contracted by the university. The service is available 24/7 with access to professional counsellors as well as an extensive digital library of mental health content like virtual fitness sessions and self-administered assessments. SFU sudents are invited to call or chat using the app, or arrange for short-term counselling with a My SSP counsellor by appointment. Learn more
Many counselling programs and groups are available in the community. Some are free, some offer lower cost student rates or a “sliding fee scale.” Your counsellor at Health & Counselling can provide a list of counsellors and psychologists in private practice.
- Reduced Cost Counselling Options
- View your coverage options if you opted in with the SFSS Student Care Plan and GSS Student Care PLan
Explore more community resources. View options now