The Counselling team is here to support you through your journey at Carleton; we understand students can face unique challenges and barriers and are here for you.
Our goal is to support students in achieving academic success by working collaboratively with them to overcome barriers, build resilience and promote wellness in the areas of physical and mental health. For academic support services, please visit the Centre for Student Academic Support. For career support, please visit Career Services.
Our experienced Intake Counsellor will consult with you and explore with you what your needs are and the most effective way to address those needs. The Intake Counsellor has the ability to triage, system-navigate, and risk assess, as well as, pair students with a counsellor based on their unique needs and situation in a holistic manner, using a stepped-care approach. We offer short-term individual counselling for students struggling with many different problems like anxiety, depression, relationship problems, sexual violence, and personal and academic stress. Health and Counselling Services offers a variety of specialized counsellors: Indigenous, Sexual Assault and Trauma, Athletic, Racialized, Trans/2SLGBTQ+, International, and Graduate.
The Intake Counsellor will sensitively listen and then explore a series of options that include self-help material, online options, therapy groups, and referrals to on or off-campus resources, counselling, or medical appointments.
- We offer short-term individual counselling for students
- Our focus is on getting you back on track rather than exploration and analysis of past problems.
- Our counsellors are masters-level psychotherapists or social workers who are registered with their respective colleges
- Our counsellors primarily use a strength-based, solution-focused therapy model. Strength-based counselling focuses on creating a hopeful future and helping people make the choices and changes that are necessary for them to move toward the future that they want. This work happens in the context of a collaborative, empowering relationship between counsellors and students.
- We are not able to provide long-term support. We do work closely with our primary care doctors to ensure that people have access to the supports that are available. Your counsellor will discuss options with you.
- For complex mental health and addictions treatment beyond our capacity, we may refer you to additional services in the community.
Counselling Appointments/Intake Process
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to connect with us. Your wellbeing is of the utmost importance to us!
Call our office at 613-520-6674 to speak with our Patient Care Coordinator who will send you an intake and consent form to be completed before your call with our Intake Counsellor. If you are in crisis, indicate that you need to speak to someone urgently.
If it is not urgent, the Intake Counsellor will call you within 24 hours to discuss your intake and connect you with appropriate supports based on your unique concerns. Intake calls on average are 15 minutes.
If you are not sure if counselling is for you, or if you are looking for additional resources, call to connect with our Intake Counsellor to discuss your situation in more detail.
If you are an employee of Carleton University and need counselling, please contact the Employee and Family Assistance Program.
Crisis/Urgent Counselling Support
If you are in crisis and need urgent counselling support, call Counselling Services at 613-520-6674 (press 2) (available 8:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday) or come in person to the main counselling clinic (2500 Carleton Technology and Training Centre Building) and indicate that you are in crisis and need to speak to someone urgently.
The following symptoms are indicative of a crisis situation:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Thoughts about harming another person
- Recent sexual assault or traumatic event
- Hallucinations and delusions
FAQs About Counselling
Call our office at 613-520-6674 (press 2) to speak with our Patient Care Coordinator, to set up your file, book an appointment and send you the intake forms to be completed before your call with our Intake Counsellor or if you live in Residence call 613-520-2600 ext. 8061.
Our experienced Intake Counsellor will consult with you and explore what your needs are and the most effective way to address those needs. The Intake Counsellor will call you within 24-48 hours on average, the calls normally last 15 minutes.
You will then book any subsequent counselling sessions with your provider.
Waiting for a counselling appointment can be very frustrating. Our wait times tend to vary based on the demand and counsellor availability. You will be given an appointment based on a risk assessment done by the Intake Counsellor. Additional resources are encouraged to be utilized through this website in addition to individual counselling sessions to optimize and improve overall wellness.
All Carleton students have access to same-day appointments for crisis and emergencies that can be booked by calling the clinic at 613-520-6674 (press 2).
When it comes to counselling, there is no “one-size-fits-all” formula. For some students, one appointment may be enough to get them back on track. For others, we may suggest ongoing counselling sessions, or other campus or community resources. Not every student will need a counsellor or counselling services.
Our counsellors offer short-term, change-oriented, trauma-informed counselling for students struggling with a wide variety of concerns including (but not limited to) anxiety, depression, academic or personal stress, relationship problems, sexual violence, gender, identity, sexuality, racism and/or adjustment to university life. Our focus is to help you thrive in your personal life rather than exploration and analysis of past problems.
If paired with a counsellor, the number of sessions you have is dependent on risk and individual assessment and will be defined by your counsellor after developing a care plan with you. If you require longer-term counselling, we will do our best to refer you to the most appropriate resources in the community.
It is normal to feel nervous before the first counselling session. The first appointment will be about building the relationship and getting to know each other and your presenting concern. Your counsellor will go over consent and confidentiality and allow space for you to ask any questions. The counsellor’s role is to listen closely and help create a collaborative plan based on your own values, skills and strengths. The outcome of counselling is most often positive; however, the process may sometimes be distressing and may include periods of stress and anxiety due to discussing sensitive and private matters. Many students discover that the first session is much easier than they had imagined.
Mental health support in the community can be costly. For example, the average private therapy session costs $150.00 or more and reduced fee community services often have a significant waitlist. We aim to keep the student health fee low and the quality of care high. Counselling sessions are included within your student health fee each term. You will not be required to pay any additional costs apart from any no-show fees which are incurred when we are provided with less than 24 hours of a cancellation.
Yes! If you have specific needs, or would like to request a counsellor with lived experience or identity (e.g., 2SLGBTQ+, BIPOC) please discuss this with our Intake Counsellor. We offer a variety of specialized counsellors: Indigenous, Sexual Assault and Trauma, Athletic, Racialized, Trans/2SLGBTQ+, International, and Graduate. Many of our counsellors have their bios on our website. Please note that we are aiming to continue to increase the diversity and experience of our team to better reflect our student’s needs.
Getting professional help for your mental health can be very anxiety provoking. Counselling is not a sign of failure; it is a sign of strength. It takes a lot of courage to acknowledge problems and our counsellors will do their best to support you during the process.
No. Our counsellors do not prescribe medications. If you wish to discuss pharmacological treatment options for any mental health related concerns, you will need to book an appointment with a medical provider. For students who are without a family doctor or nurse practitioner, you can access a Mental Health Assessment (MHA) at our medical clinic. MHA are approximately 30 minutes in length, you may be referred internally or externally for further assessment.
No. Counselling records are confidential and will not be listed on academic records.
We will not release any information without your written permission. The only exceptions would be to protect you or others from immediate harm; when ordered by a court to do so (subpoena); when required by law (protecting children from abuse); or if abuse by a regulated health professional is reported. Your counsellor will explain our confidentiality policy to you when you meet as well as these limits.
Yes! We operate a satellite counselling office just for students living in residence, conveniently located in 131 Renfrew House. The intake process in Residence Counselling varies somewhat from the main clinic. For example, you may be able to have subsequent meetings with the counsellor who does your intake session. Res students can drop by between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, or call 613-520-2600 ext. 8061 to book appointments or for more information.
Faculty and Staff
All Carleton employees, as well as family members who need support, can reach out to the Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP) by calling 1-877-725-5676 or through the myfseap.ca portal.
Counselling Services is legally required to keep health information confidential. Counselling Services will not release any information without written permission from the student, except to protect you or others from immediate harm; when ordered by a court to do so (subpoena); or required by law (protecting children from abuse). Your counsellor will explain our confidentiality policy to you when you meet, as well as the limits mentioned above. They can also answer any questions you have about the privacy of your health care information.