On-campus help

COVID-19: How to access mental health support from the comfort of your home

During this complex and rapidly evolving global situation around the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, it is an opportune time to reach out with information about how to access mental health support from the comfort of your home, whether it be online, via telephone or off-campus.

Want to talk to a counsellor?

Depending on the Faculty in which you study or your student status, you might have access to different services:

Are you in residence (Housing Services)?

You can book your single session in advance or you can visit 100 Marie-Curie Private on the 4th floor in person and meet with a counsellor the same day through the SASS walk-in services.

Are you an undergraduate student?

Counselling Services at uOttawa

The uOttawa Counselling Services is one of the primary options for students who want in-person support on campus. If you are feeling lost, are facing a problem you don't know how to handle or would just like to talk to someone in a safe place, their team is here to help.

Counselling is a confidential service for students who are dealing with temporary life difficulties such as homesickness, relationship breakup, serious illness or death of a family member, academic or financial stress, etc. The aim of counselling is to facilitate a timely return to normal functioning.

To meet a professional counsellor for a non-urgent matter, you can book a single session appointment , by registering online or by visiting them in person at 100 Marie-Curie Private, 4th floor.

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The stepped-care model

If you feel the matter is more urgent, you can also meet a counsellor during their walk-in clinic (100 Marie-Curie Private, 4th floor). You will be assisted, with no appointment, on a first-come, first-serve basis during their opening hours. See here for walk-in clinic hours and information.

The Counselling Services uses a stepped-care model, that provides different types of services for different types of needs. You can learn more about it on their website.


Access to counselling via your Student Health Plan

Empower Me - mental health and wellness assistance program - UOSU

Students subscribing to the University of Ottawa Student Union Student (UOSU) Health Plan automatically have access to Empower Me, a mental health and wellness service that seeks to contribute to a resilient student community.

Empower Me by Studentcare - Logo

Empower Me allows students to connect for free with qualified counsellors, consultants, and life coaches for a variety of issues. The sessions can be delivered in person, by telephone, by video-counselling, or by e-counselling, and the service is available 365/7/24. Call the 24/7 helpline at 1-844-741-6389 from anywhere in North America to be directly connected to a trained counsellor.

Insurance coverage for counselling

Your UOSU Student Care Health plan also gives you access to up to $1500 per year of counselling, reimbursed at 80%, to see a psychologist, social worker or registered counsellor off-campus. Here is your plan at a glance with more details.

Through the health plan, students can also get access to further cost reduction by consulting a psychologist part of the Studentcare Psychology Network. These psychologists are consulted through PsyVitalitï, a group of psychologists who offer their services via secure online video conferencing at a preferred rate, so that Health Plan members can consult a psychologist in the privacy and comfort of their own home.

To know more about the Health Plan, please visit http://www.studentcare.ca/

Are you a graduate student?

Access to counselling via your Student Health Plan

Student Support Program (SSP)

uOttawa Graduate students have access to a program called the Student Support Program (SSP) - for those enrolled in their GSAÉD Student Health Plan.

Graduate students can call 24/7 to 1.855.649.8641 to speak to a counsellor or make an appointment, or visit the SSP Website (just type in University of Ottawa or GSAÉD to identify your institution) to access the service via electronic chat or email.

The SSP is completely confidential within the limits of the law, so no one – including your family, friends, or professors – will ever know used the program unless you choose to tell them. 

The program provides access to short-term counselling for personal and emotional issues. Students can choose from a variety of delivery methods to best suit their comfort level and lifestyle including:

  • 24/7 on-demand support. Confidential counselling, including crisis support, available night and day via phone and online chat.
  • Make an appointment to work with a counsellor in sessions over the telephone.
  • Virtually meet with a counsellor from home or another private setting. Appointment required. 
  • First Chat. Instant online chat with a counsellor anytime, anywhere. No appointment required. Access the 24/7 CHAT option here
  • In-person, face to face sessions. (off campus). Appointment required. 

Insurance coverage for counselling

Your GSAED Health Plan also covers 35$ per visit to a psychologist, up to 400$ annually. Check out your health plan booklet here.


If a graduate student would like some initial guidance on where to seek supports and navigation of the services are available in the community they are welcome to make an appointment or come to the SASS Walk-in Clinic for a single session to learn about their options.

Are you an international student?

International students are eligible to the same help as non-international undergraduate and graduate students (uOttawa Counselling Services, student health plans, etc.), so please refer to the undergraduate or graduate information above for those services.

Did you know? Both the undergraduate and graduate student association/union offer complementary support programs available through their student health plans (Empower Me and SSP), and they are are offered in multiple languages.

If you need to use services from the Ontario provincial health system, we remind you that your University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) will protect you from paying for many healthcare services out of your own pocket.


If you're currently outside of Canada, you can access to counselling through International SOS:

The University of Ottawa has partnered with International SOS to support registered uOttawa students residing outside of Canada or in provinces outside Ontario.

As of March 25, 2020, students can:

  • Contact 1-215-942-8226 or,
  • Download the Assistance App and identify their institution.

International SOS:

  • Offers 24/7 support, every day of the year
  • Offers support in over 60 languages
  • Provides an assessment
  • Offers counselling via telephone or videocall
Are you a law student?

If so, you can access your very own Member Assistance Program (MAP) for counselling services and meet with a counsellor within 48hrs.

Are you a student in the Faculty of Medicine?

Undergraduate students

Undergraduate medical students can contact the Student Affairs Office by phone at 613-562-5800 x 8136 or by email at medsao@uottawa.ca to connect with counsellors and other resources. 

See their website for more info.

Graduate students, TMM students, residents and faculty

Graduate students, TMM students, residents and faculty can contact the Faculty Wellness Program by phone at 613-562-5800 x 8507 or by email at wellness@uottawa.ca. Residents can access the PARO support line available 24/7 at 1-866-Help-Doc.

International students

International students who have questions can contact the University’s International Office (uointl@uOttawa.ca) and are also reminded that services, such as counselling, are available should they need any assistance.

Ohter services

Other recommended supports include:

  • your family physician
  • the OMA Physician Health Program (1-800-851-6606)
  • your Employee and Family Assistance Program
  • the Mental Health Crisis lines available 24/7 at 613-722-6914 (in Ottawa) and 1-866-996-0991 (outside Ottawa) Tele-aide Outaouais 1-800-567-9699
Are you a varsity student-athlete?

If so, you have access to direct mental health support with Anna Abraham, Varsity Mental Health Coordinator and Registered Psychotherapist. You can schedule a session by emailing her at aabraham@uOttawa.ca.

Are you a musician?

If so, you could benefit from the services of the Musician Wellness Centre. Please note the Centre doesn't offer general mental health counselling. However, it offers workshops, events, coaching and clinical consultations specifically designed for musicians on topics such as pain prevention and treatment, hearing health, performance anxiety, mindfulness, etc.

Other services on campus

Academic Help

Academic Accommodations Service

The Academic Accommodations Service works collaboratively with our university community and stakeholders to facilitate the academic accommodation process.

If you need an academic accommodation (e.g. for mental health, general health or any other reasons), you are encouraged to contact them as soon as possible: visit their website for contact info and to learn more.


Other academic resources

  • If you want to develop your writing skills and improve your papers, the Academic Writing Help Centre (AWHC) is there for you.
  • If you're looking for extra help such as a mentor, a study group or workshops on university-related topics, the Mentoring Service is the way.

University of Ottawa Health Services (UOHS)

UOHS offers a comprehensive range of health and medical services to University of Ottawa students, faculty, staff, and the general public.


Walk-in Clinic

The walk-in clinic provides medical services without an appointment and is open to all.

  • The walk-in clinic is open weekdays from 8am to 8pm, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and weekends.
  • The clinic is closed on Sundays from June to August, on December 25th and 26th and on January 1st.
  • On recognized holidays it is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions


UOHS Mental Health Services

The UOHS offers services for uOttawa community members experiencing mental health issues.

Please note that only those registered with UOHS are eligible for counselling services. If you’re not yet a UOHS patient, you can register with UOHS. All patients are eligible for referrals to a psychiatrist when appropriate.

Sexual violence

For issues relating to sexual violence, we recommend that you visit the uOttawa's Sexual violence: support and prevention website.

Multi-Faith Chaplaincy Services

University of Ottawa Multi-Faith Chaplaincy Services is your religious and spiritual centre on campus. Their multi-faith team of volunteer chaplains and faith liaisons work together to provide spiritual resources for students, faculty and staff on the University of Ottawa campus. Learn more here.

University of Ottawa Students' Union (UOSU)

Student Health Plan - Access to counselling

The UOSU (University of Ottawa Students' Union) is responsible for the 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. See here for more details.

To know more about the Health Plan, please visit http://www.studentcare.ca/


Other services

The Union also offers a vast array of services, such as the Centre for Students with Disabilities (CSD), the Food Bank or the International House. See all of their services here.

Graduate Student Association (GASED)

Student Health Plan - Access to counselling

The Graduate Student Association (GSAED) offers many services, including the student health plan for graduate students. The health plan gives you access to 1) partial insurance coverage for counselling and 2) to the Student Support Program (SSP). See here for more details.


Other services

The GSAED offers other services pertaining to equity and wellness, such as the Pride Centre or the Women's Resource Centre. Visit their website to know more.


Nursing Room

Are you a student-parent who you needs access to a breastfeeding room? The GSAED manages one, which is located at room 230E, in Déjà-Vu, between Morisset Hall (MRT) (level 2) and the Thompson Residence (THN).

The room can be accessed via a door lock code. Contact the GSAED to inquire about access to the room.

Protection Services

University of Ottawa Protection Services is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

To report an emergency: 613-562-5411 (or ext. 5411)

For non-urgent matters: 613-562-5499 (or ext. 5499)

Accessibility (Human Rights Office)

The Accessibility Hub provides information and tools about accessibility on campus for individuals living with a disability (including mental health-related issues). It also aims to help students, educators and administrators identify and remove barriers to accessibility, to promote and foster inclusion and to improve accessibility for everyone on campus.

Indigenous Portal

The Indigenous Portal aims to provide Indigenous students with all the tools and resources they need to succeed, such as information on the programs or bursaries offered, how to use the library’s resources and how to take part in community activities. The Portal also aspires to increase visibility and awareness of Indigenous culture on campus to ensure that the landscape of the University of Ottawa reflects its vibrant, active, and diverse Indigenous community.

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Did you know that you have access to counselling via your student health plan?

Undergraduates

Your UOSU Health Plan gives you access to 1) extensive insurance coverage for counselling and 2) to the Empower Me support program. See here for more details.

Graduates

Your GSAED Health Plan gives you access to 1) partial insurance coverage for counselling and 2) to the Student Support Program (SSP). See here for more details.

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