Residence Counselling

Residence Counselling and Wellness is a satellite office of Counselling Services and open exclusively to Carleton students living in residence. We are located in 131 Renfrew Building (on the main floor, close to the rear entrance).

In addition to our licensed counsellors, we work with housing staff to run events and activities in the Wellness Space and are home to the Mental Health Champions.

See a Residence Counsellor

Counselling Appointments

Available Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. for residence students only.

Residence students can also book a counselling intake appointment online. Please visit our new Booking page or call to make an appointment with one of the counsellors at 613-520-2600 ext. 8061.

Same-Day Counselling

  • Limited same-day spots are available between 1:00 – 4:00 p.m., please call reception to reserve at 613-520-2600 ext. 8061
  • We can offer urgent care and support, problem-solving and guidance or referral and assistance in finding the services you need, whether that is other university supports or community resources.
  • The counsellor will discuss care options with you which may include ongoing counselling, as well as offer recommendations for next steps.

FAQs About Residence Counselling

You can call our office at 613-520-2600 ext. 8061 between 8:30—4:30 Monday to Friday and talk to our receptionist to book an appointment, or you can simply drop by our office at 131 Renfrew Building in person.  Residence students can also book a counselling intake appointment online by visiting our new Booking page.

It may be possible to be seen very quickly, as we offer same-day appointments every afternoon on a first come, first served basis.  Alternatively, you can book an appointment at a later date; wait times vary throughout the year.   You will then be sent a few forms to be completed electronically before your first meeting.

Our counsellors offer short-term, trauma-informed counselling for students struggling with a wide variety of concerns and mental illness.  Common topics that we help students with include anxiety, depression, adjustment difficulties and homesickness, roommate and social conflicts, sexual violence, academic stressors, gender and sexuality, and substance use and addiction. Our focus is to help you thrive in your current personal and academic pursuits, rather than the exploration and analysis of past problems.

If you require longer-term or specialized therapy, we may refer you to the more appropriate resources in the community.

The first appointment will be about getting to know each other and your presenting concern, and figuring out who and what resources will best support you at this time.

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.  This plan may involve further counselling meetings with the same professional, or you might leave with a referral to a different counsellor or service that can better support your specific needs.

It is normal to feel nervous before the first counselling session. 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.

There is no charge for meeting with a Residence Counsellor; these services are paid for through your residence and tuition fees.

If you have a specific counsellor or request in mind, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate this.  There are a limited number of counsellors working specifically with residence students, however, so this may not always be possible.  All of our counsellors embrace working with people from diverse backgrounds, and will also discuss with you if a referral to a specialized counsellor at the main clinic is appropriate.

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, you can access a Mental Health Assessment (MHA) at our medical clinic. A MHA is approximately 30 minutes in length, you may be referred internally or externally for further assessment.

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 the limits mentioned above.

Mental Health Champions

Residence Counselling also supports the Mental Health Champions residence volunteer program. Throughout the year, the Mental Health Champions host various activities around campus on the topic of coping, resilience, and mental well-being.

Getting Involved

Do you want to create more happiness and well-being in the world? Are you interested in getting more involved in the residence community?

The Mental Health Champions are a diverse group of Carleton students who challenge themselves and those around them to learn and spread principles of positive psychology and wellness. All that is required to volunteer is a genuine interest in helping and in developing your qualities of empathy, leadership and interpersonal skills. While our focus is on contributing to a thriving residence community, students living both on and off campus are welcome to participate.

If you are interested in learning more or have any comments/questions, please contact

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