Increasing access to wellness services around the world

Increasing access to wellness services around the world

Queen's is providing access to support services to help students manage their mental health.

By Communications Staff

October 2, 2020


Photograph of a globe.
Some support services can be accessed from many different countries around the world.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt everyday life, Queen’s students are encouraged to seek support if they are experiencing stress and need help throughout the semester. The university has services in place that can be accessed even if students are studying in different provinces or countries.

“In response to the pandemic, this year most Queen’s students will be taking part in virtual learning. We want all of our students to know that there are a variety of resources available, wherever they are located,” says Cynthia Gibney, Executive Director, Student Wellness Services (SWS). “Queen’s provides access to remote one-on-one counselling for students in Ontario, remote wellness group sessions, and resources for students around the world.  It’s also important that all students continue to take care of themselves by staying active, ensuring they are getting enough sleep, and by staying connected with family and friends because the links between self-care and good mental health are clear.”

SWS is open weekdays in Mitchell Hall and is offering some in-person physician appointments, as well as crisis support. Students can call 613-533-2506 to book a COVID-19 test, and medical and/or mental health appointments; most appointments are being held on the phone or through secure video. SWS physicians can treat students who are anywhere in Canada.

Empower Me, the 24/7 service available to Queen’s students in partnership with the Alma Mater Society, and the Society for Graduate and Professional Students, has recently expanded. Now, students can access Empower Me from across North America and from many countries around the world. Students can turn to the service for help with a range of issues, including crisis response, mental health, career planning, interpersonal conflicts, financial planning, and nutritional counselling. Empower Me also offers its services in many different languages. Those who have used the service in the past should note that the North American phone number has recently changed to 1-833-628-5589.

For students seeking a community of support, SWS has moved its group sessions online. These sessions are led by health professionals over Zoom and provide students with skills they can use to manage a variety of issues, such as sleep, stress, powerful emotions, autism, and chronic pain. Many of these groups hold multiple sessions and give students a chance to connect with peers while also learning from professionals.

One-on-one counselling services will also continue to be offered online throughout the fall. Students can also use Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) to access interactive tools 24/7 that can help build skills to manage the stressors of university life.

Learn more about the health and wellness resources available to students on the newly relaunched SWS website.

For details about online and in-person physical fitness activities through Athletics and Recreation, visit

Academics are the number one source of student stress, and the transition to the remote learning environment can be challenging. Student Academic Success Services offers many academic support resources, online workshops and one-on-one appointments. Students are also encouraged to connect with academic advisors in their faculty/school. There is still time for them to adjust their schedule and course load.

The Student Affairs Fall/Winter Support Services webpage provides an online hub for information and links to programs and services that support wellbeing and success.