Student Health and Wellness

University of Toronto and the Faculty of Medicine is committed to ensuring that our students are supported and academically thrive while engaged in their graduate training. The university has established a framework on how to approach mental health among our student population.  As Vice Dean of Graduate and Academic Affairs, I am pleased to announce that effective Fall 2018, the Office of Graduate and Life Sciences Education in the Faculty of Medicine will have two dedicated on-location counsellors available exclusively to our graduate students.
Laurie ColemanLaurie Coleman
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 Wednesday evening at the Koffler Centre. She also co-leads the Grief Support Sharing Circle (LINK), Mindful Eating: Food & Mood (LINK) and Mindful Moments (LINK) on campus.

Grief Support Sharing Circle
Everyone grieves in his or her own unique way. When someone you love dies, you may feel angry, isolated, sad, guilty or lonely. The grief support sharing circle is an informal drop-in mutual support group for students who have experienced a death, as well as students experiencing anticipatory grief.

Mindfullness | Student Life
Join us for a mindful exploration of healthy eating and how our relationship with food can affect our mood. This is an interactive program that combines relaxation and mindfulness meditation exercises with practical nutrition knowledge.

Mindful Moments | Student Life
Mindfulness meditation is about being aware in the present moment. We spend a lot of time focusing on what happened in the past and worrying about the future, and this distracts us from what we want to do in the moment.

Saretta HermanSaretta Herman 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 you’re experiencing. The on-location counsellors are also familiar with other campus and community supports and can help you 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 your 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. Faculty of Medicine) counsellor. Follow-up appointments can be scheduled directly with your counsellor.

Alternatively, you can also ask faculty or staff to refer you to these services.

Other resources students can access:

1) 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 (academic support, accessibility, health and dental, mental health, safety, international students, faith and spirituality, family and recreational) and language/accessibility. Please visit the Health and Wellness section of the SGS website by clicking here.

2) Health and Wellness Workshops
You may also want to access other resources, such as workshops that are offered through the Office of Student Life. Topics include better coping skills, mindfulness, grief support groups, sexual health information, suicide alertness training, better sleeping. For details, eligibility and issues about the confidentiality of your attendance at these workshops, please click here.

3) Graduate Conflict Resolution Centre

If you are a current grad student or postdoctoral fellow at UTM, UTSC or UTSG you are welcome to connect confidentially with one of our trained G2G Peer Advisors (G2G=grad-to-grad) to talk about options and strategies for addressing a concern and university supports and resources. G2G do not intervene or advocate – they listen and can help you to navigate your own way forward. If you are a faculty or staff member you can refer students to the G2G Peer Advisors and/or contact the CRC directly to discuss early and effective conflict resolution strategies and opportunities for skills development and training for your department. For more information, please click here.

4) What to do in an emergency?
If you are in need of immediate medical attention, go to the nearest hospital emergency department, or call 911.

Although our services and the Health & Wellness Centre is closed evenings, weekends and all Statutory Holidays, there are other local walk-in clinics that students can access. Please click here and scroll down the page for more information.

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