McGill Increases Accessibility to Mental Health Services

Wait Times Decreased, Access to Online Sessions

  • Many alternative options are available for Concordia students as well, via counselling and psychological services. Different kinds of workshops address different stressful conditions that students may be living with, and aim to help reduce that impact while providing practical coping skills to students in need. Archive Jonathan Cook

After seeing a 57 per cent increase in the number of students requesting mental health services over the past few years, McGill has finally decided to revamp their counselling and psychological services.

Students at McGill can now expect to receive services within about a week’s time, alleviating the previously long wait times.

McGill student, Julia Pabst-Leonidas, was first told she would have to wait about 6 weeks before she would be able to get an appointment back in 2016.

“That’s just ridiculous, it doesn’t really make sense when you’re in the middle of a crisis,” said Pabst-Leonidas.

Now that she has been set up with a psychiatrist affiliated with McGill at the Allan Memorial Institute, things have been going much smoother.

“I think I had a therapy session like the week after [requesting services], so it’s really fast. So far I think it’s been helping.”

While the changes have been put in place with the goal of reducing wait times, the wait times still exist. The new services now largely focus on some of the alternative options that are more easily accessible for students. While there is still one-on-one counselling, students can now take matters into their own hands.

According to McGill’s Vice President of University Affairs, Isabelle Oke, online therapy is one of many alternative ways for students to seek support.

As Oke explains, it’s called Therapy-Assistant Online, which is a website where you can participate in exercises that will help you stay on track and manage your mental health.

“Then there’s more emphasis on group therapy, workshops, and stuff like that so that students don’t have to rely on seeing a counsellor to get the support that they need,” Oke said.

Many of these alternative options are available for Concordia students as well, via counselling and psychological services. Different kinds of workshops address different stressful conditions that students may be living with, and aim to help reduce that impact while providing practical coping skills to students in need.

Some workshops available to Concordia students include the Shyness Clinic, Effective Problem Solving Strategies, SOS For Your Emotional Health, and Managing Stress for Success. Group therapy is also available alongside one-on-one counselling, with more workshops expected to come in 2018.

Students can access counselling and psychological services through the MyConcordia portal, under the Student Services section. The university’s upcoming plans for its mental health services will be announced in January.

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