Mental Health Resources
The University of Toronto, the Temerty Faculty of Medicine and the Department of Medical Biophysics are committed to ensuring that our students are supported and academically thrive while engaged in their graduate training.
The university has established a framework for approaching mental health among our student population. To learn more, please visit the University of Toronto Mental Health website.
We understand how important mental health is to the success and well-being of our students and faculty. As such, the Department has complied a variety of resources below to assist you in finding the support you need.
What To Do in an Emergency?
Students in need of immediate medical attention should go to the nearest hospital emergency department, or call 911.
Navi - U of T Mental Health Wayfinder
The Student Life office has launched a Student Mental Health Virtual Agent to help students navigate mental health supports at the University of Toronto. ‘Navi’, short for navigator, is an anonymous wayfinding tool that is available 24/7. Navi uses IBM’s Watson Assistant, a virtual agent that uses natural language processing to understand questions it receives, to provide accurate and relevant responses through a simple chat function.
Currently, Navi can speak to 48 broad topics related to mental health including: stress, anxiety, loneliness, harassment, discrimination, bullying, academics, career, sleep issues, accessibility, coping techniques, abuse, eating disorders, how to get involved, health care access, and more. The tool will be updated regularly to speak to more topics.
SGS Wellness Portal
Looking for mental health services, resources, or academic supports? Need to talk with someone about your experiences of supervision? The SGS Wellness portal, developed in collaboration with the University of Toronto Graduate Students' Union (UTGSU), can help point you in the right direction.
My Student Support Program (MySSP)
My Student Support Program (MySSP) provides University of Toronto students with immediate and/or ongoing confidential, 24-hour support for any school, health, or general life concern at no cost to students. You can call or chat with a counsellor directly from your phone whenever, wherever you are for a range of concerns. Students who use MySSP still have access to existing campus and community mental health services; MySSP is an additional support service.
You can also access the service 24/7 by calling 1-844-451-9700. Outside of North America, call 001-416-380-6578.
On-Site Wellness Counsellors
Effective Fall 2018, the Office of Graduate and Life Sciences Education in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine will have two dedicated on-location counsellors available exclusively to our graduate students:
1) Laurie Coleman (MSW, RSW) is a Wellness Counsellor and Coordinator at Health and Wellness, Student Life. Since 2011, she has been part of the on-location mental health team. She provides service Mondays – Thursdays, 9am – 5pm at 500 University Ave. In addition to this, she will be available every other Tuesday evening at the Koffler Centre. She also co-leads the Grief Support Sharing Circle, Mindful Eating: Food & Mood and Mindful Moments on campus.
2) Saretta Herman (MSW, RSW) is a Wellness Counsellor and Coordinator at Health and Wellness, Student Life. Since 2015, she has been a part of the on-location team and comes to GLSE from the School of Graduate Studies. Before U of T, she worked in Children’s Mental Health, Youth Justice, and at a clinic specializing in cognitive-behavioural therapy. She provides services Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, 9am – 5pm, in the Medical Sciences Building at 1 King’s College Circle.
The on-location service is a brief counselling service that aims to connect students with a counsellor in a timely fashion in order to get the support that they need. The counsellors are trained to provide personally tailored treatment specific to what students are experiencing. The on-location counsellors are also familiar with other campus and community supports and can help students find and connect with other supports, if needed. Many students find it helpful to meet with a counsellor to have a space to talk about these issues and to obtain professional support in managing them.
How to make an appointment
To schedule a first appointment with a counsellor, please contact the Health and Wellness Centre at 416-978-8030 (select option “5”) or drop by Health and Wellness at the Koffler Student Services Centre, Room 111, and ask to book a time with a GLSE (i.e. Temerty Faculty of Medicine) counsellor. Follow-up appointments can be scheduled directly with a counsellor.
Alternatively, students can also ask faculty or staff to refer them to these services.
For more information, please see the GLSE Student Health and Wellness website.
Health and Wellness via School of Graduate Studies
The School of Graduate Studies has developed an excellent Health and Wellness website that includes a directory of resources by campus, category (i.e. academic support, accessibility, health and dental, mental health, safety, international students, faith and spirituality and family and recreational) and language/accessibility.
Prioritizng Your Wellness as a Graduate Student
"Prioritizing Your Wellness as a Gradute Stuudent" is a presentation made to new graduate students at the beginning of each new term. This presentation outlines the importance of mental health, providing resources and considerations for student wellness.
You can download the slide deck from the latest presentation below.
Health and Wellness Workshops
There are many workshops offered through the University of Toronto Office of Student Life.
- better coping skills,
- grief support groups,
- sexual health information,
- suicide alertness training and
- better sleeping.
Please visit the Student Life Workshops website for details, eligibility and questions regarding the confidentiality of attendance.
GLSE Leave of Absence Stipendiary Fund
For research-stream graduate students in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, the Leave of Absence Stipendiary Fund is available for an approved Leave of Absence (LOA) due to health issues (i.e. physical) and/or mental health challenges which temporarily impair a student’s functioning during his/her graduate studies. Funding is available up to $5,000 per student for one term on a one-time only basis. Ideally, students must submit an application package (as outlined on the Program Fees and Stipens Page) to the Office of Graduate and Life Sciences Education in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine (MSB 2360) before the deadline and prior to the start of their LOA. Students who remain registered during the requested LOA will not receive LOA Stipendiary Funding.
For more information on funding related to a Leave of Absence, please refer to the Program Fees and Stipends page.
Printable Mental Health Resource Posters
Below are links to printable posters that can be put up in your lab, or other approved spaces, to raise awareness of mental health resources available for MBP Students.
MBP Mental Health and Wellness Committee Handout
The MBP Health and Wellness Committee has created a handy, printable Mental Health Resource handout, including information regarding:
- accessing counseling services
- dealing with conflict-related challenges
- community telephone Helplines
- online mental health resources
MBP Faculty Mental Health Sponsors
Below is a list of MBP Faculty members who have completed University of Toronto IAR ("Identify, Assist and Refer"). This training helps prepare Faculty to identify individuals experiencing mental health difficulties, offer assistance and facilitate help-seeking behaviour.
- Dr. Colleen Bailey
- Dr. Paul Boutros
- Dr. Avi Chakrabartty
- Dr. Charles Cunningham
- Dr. Daniel De Carvalho
- Dr. Nilesh Ghugre
- Dr. Maged Goubran
- Dr. Shane Harding
- Dr. Kristin Hope
- Dr. Thomas Kislinger
- Dr. Marianne Koritzinsky
- Dr. Benjamin Lok
- Dr. Anne Martel
- Dr. Chris McIntosh
- Dr. Trevor Pugh
- Dr. Giles Santyr
- Dr. Vuk Stambolic
- Dr. Bojana Stefanovic
Although many university services and the Health & Wellness Centre are closed evenings, weekends and all Statutory Holidays, there are many other local walk-in clinics and external resources that students can access.