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.
GET URGENT HELP
CALL 911 IF AT IMMEDIATE RISK
IF YOU ARE:
- feeling desperate and hopeless
- worried you might hurt yourself
- having or know someone having suicidal thoughts
- alone with no one to talk to
IF YOU HAVE:
- made a plan, the means to hurt yourself or someone else
- attempted suicide
- hurt yourself before
Students in need of immediate medical attention should call 911, or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.
YOU CAN ALSO CONTACT CAMPUS POLICE AT 416-978-2222 IF YOU’RE CONCERNED ABOUT ANYONE’S SAFETY.
Talk to Someone Right Now
24/7 Emergency counseling services
U of T My Student Support Program (My SSP) | 1-844-451-9700. Outside of North America, call 001-416-380-6578.
Culturally-competent mental health and counseling services in 146 languages for all U of T students.
Good2Talk Student Helpline | 1-866-925-5454
Professional counseling, information and referrals helpline for mental health, addictions and students well-being.
Contacts for Different Types of Distress
Life is complicated and doesn’t always go as planned. If you are in distress, we can connect you to the help you need.
Download the Feeling distressed (PDF) for contacts resources to support you through different kinds of distress:
- 24/7 EMERGENCY
- Mental health
- Financial (difficulties due to unexpected circumstances)
- Housing (temporary housing crisis)
- Sexual assault/safety
- Equity offices and communities of care on campus
Contacts include on-campus and community supports during business hours and 24/7.
Talk to a 'My Student Support Program (MySSP)' Counsellor
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.
Talk to an 'On-Site Wellness Counsellor'
The Office of Graduate and Life Sciences Education in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine has 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) Heidi Cho (MSW, RSW) Wellness Counsellor and Coordinator at Health and Wellness, Student Life. Part of the on-location mental health team, she provides service for GLSE/SGS students on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays, 9am-5pm.
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.
Access After-hours Health Care Assistance
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.
Please click here for more information. Information can be found under the 'Contacts' heading.
Learn About Requesting a Leave of Absence Due to Health Issues and/or Mental Health Challenges
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 Stipends 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.
Attend 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. Workshops are listed under the 'Programs' heading.
Find Resources Through '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.
Find Resources Through the School of Graduate Studies Health and Wellness Website
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.
Find Resources Through the '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.
Download the 'Prioritizing Your Wellness as a Graduate Student' Presentation
"Prioritizing Your Wellness as a Graduate Student" 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.
Download the 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
Print and Post 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.
View Our 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.