The list provided here suggests a few resources, depending on the mental health topic or issue for which you are looking for help, but you can also use the eMentalHealth.ca database search tool (see below) to help in your search. It is an excellent tool to find a great variety of services near you (including walk-in counselling clinics, helplines and mental health professionals).
Counselling resources in the community
Counselling Connect provides free access to a same-day or next-day phone or video counselling session. This service is for children, youth, adults and families in Ottawa and the surrounding area. There is no waiting list.
The Walk-in Counselling Clinic
The Walk-in Counselling Clinicoffers free same-day counselling services in multiple languages to people in the greater Ottawa. In-office counselling is currently not possible, but, all their services are open with remote options.
Centretown Community Health Centre
Centretown Community Health Centre offers individual and couple counselling in many languages in people living around downtown Ottawa. All appointments are currently done by phone. Call 613-233-4443, ext. 2109.
Finding a psychologist or a psychotherapist (private practice)
Step 1: Check your insurance coverage
We highly recommend that you check any personal insurance plans you have and plans through family members or employers to see if you have coverage.
The UOSU health plan and the GSAED health plan both cover a portion of psychologist consultation fees, up to an annual maximum amount.
The Employee and Family Assistance Program also offers free, short-term counselling to all regular employees. The extended health plans for many employee groups also cover a portion of psychologist consultation fees, up to the maximum amount if you have a medical referral (check your benefits page to see if you are eligible).
Step 2: Find a registered professional near you
- The College of Psychologists of Ontario (Bilingual)
- The College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (English)
- Ordre des psychologues du Québec (Bilingual)
Elsewhere in Canada:
Look for your province or territory's College of Psychologists or College of Registered Psychotherapists. Most of the time, they will offer tools to find a professional that is suited to your needs and location.
Suicide prevention and awareness
If you have immediate safety concerns for yourself or others, call 911. If you wish to talk to someone now, call one of the 24/7 crisis support services.
If you wish to learn more about suicide prevention and awareness to help others, take a look at the resources below:
- The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention
- LifeLine suicide prevention and awareness mobile app (English)
- Befrienders Worldwide for suicide prevention (available in multiple languages)
Crisis Text Line
The Crisis Text Line (powered by Kids Help Phone) is a free text-based help line that can be used by anyone, in any type of crisis. Text HOME to 686868 from Canada, anytime. No need for a data plan or Internet connection.
To communicate in French, simply text PARLER to the same number.
Wellness Together Canada
Wellness Together Canada was funded by the Government of Canada in response to the unprecedented rise in mental distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. People are being challenged like never before due to isolation, physical health concerns, substance use concerns, financial and employment uncertainty, and the emotional dialogue around racial equality. We’re all going through this together, and we believe that mental health is a journey, not a destination. Each day, we can take a step for our own wellbeing. Wellness Together Canada is here to support everybody on that journey.
Skill-building : BounceBack – Reclaim Your Health
BounceBack – Reclaim Your Health is a free skill-building program for Ontario adults and youth (15+) who wish to learn how to better manage symptoms of anxiety and depression.
The program gives you access to workbooks and telephone coaching, as well as a series of informative videos. Topics addressed include: being assertive, better sleep and changing negative thought patterns.
To participate in the program, you must get referred by your primary care provider, since he or she can make sure you get support that matches your needs.
Support for LGBTQ+ community
- Interligne (formerly Gai écoute) support and information by phone, email or chat (bilingual)
- Family Services Ottawa LGBTTQ + Around the Rainbow (English)
- Centretown Community Health Centre Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Two-Spirit, Queer & Questioning (bilingual)
Mood disorders (depression, bipolar disorder, etc.)
- Mood Disorders Association of Ontario (English). Phone support line: 1-866-363-MOOD (6663)
- Mood Disorders Ottawa (English): 613-526-5406
- Relief (formerly Revivre) - Some services available in Outaouais (mainly in French): 1-866-738-4873
Substance abuse (drugs and alcohol) and addiction
- The Royal Hospital Substance Use and Concurrent Disorders Program (bilingual): 613-722-6521, ext. 6224
- ConnexOntario - Drug, Alcohol and Gambling Helpline (bilingual): 1-866-531-2600
- University of Ottawa: Sexual violence: support and prevention
- Unsafe at Home Ottawa is a secure text and online chat service for women and members of LGBTQ2S+ communities in Ottawa and Lanark County who may be living through increased violence and abuse at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.Text @ (613) 704-5535or chat [email protected]unsafeathomeottawa.ca
- Ottawa Victim Services (bilingual): 613-238-2762
- Ottawa francophone Centre for relief of sexual assaults (Centre d’aide et de lutte contre les agressions à caractère sexuel d'Ottawa) (français) : 613-789-8096
- Ottawa francophone Centre for relief of sexual assaults (Centre d’aide et de lutte contre les agressions à caractère sexuel d'Ottawa) (bilingual) : 1-888-933-9007
- Centretown Community Health Centre (bilingual): 613-233-4443
- Crime Victim Assistance Centre (bilingual) : 819-778-3555 or 1-800-331-2311
Daily mental health tool
The "HealthyMinds" App (created by The Royal Hospital)
Life as a student can be stressful - assignments, part-time jobs, sports, clubs, relationships, family responsibilities. In fact, during your years as a student, you will face some of the most intense pressures of any point in your life. Stress can take a toll on your mind, weighing you down and even making you ill, so it’s important to take action to stay healthy. That’s what HealthyMinds is all about.
HealthyMinds is a problem-solving tool to help deal with emotions and cope with the stresses you encounter both on and off campus. The goal: Keeping your mind healthy.
Did you know that you have access to counselling via your student health plan?
Your UOSU Health Plan gives you access to 1) extensive insurance coverage for counselling and 2) to the Empower Me support program.
Your GSAED Health Plan gives you access to 1) partial insurance coverage for counselling and 2) to the Student Support Program (SSP).
Mental Health Resources for Students: A guide by Initiative 1/5
Initiative 1/5 is a student-run organization that is aimed at promoting mental health literacy on campus and in the community. They have compiled a guide for students to navigate various mental health resources on and off-campus.