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Wellness in a time of physical distancing

Student Wellness Services offers virtual appointments and trainings for students, faculty, and staff.

As students adjust to the changes and challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Student Wellness Services (SWS) – part of the Division of Student Affairs – is connecting to the Queen’s community in new ways to help ensure everyone remains safe and healthy.

Like most medical and mental health services in Ontario, SWS is now offering virtual appointments to help maintain patient and healthcare provider safety. 

Students who need to book a medical or mental health appointment can call SWS at 613-533-2506. A staff member will use a triage model to assess the student’s needs and determine if the appointment should be done virtually or in person.

Limited in-person medical appointments continue to be available in the Côté Sharp Student Wellness Centre on the main floor of Mitchell Hall; if the student is not in Kingston, they may be advised to see their home provider.

For most medical concerns, SWS staff can help students remotely, either over the phone or through the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) – a secure videoconferencing platform. SWS can also complete any forms for students that do not require an in-person assessment through virtual care.

Mental health appointments with counsellors are now being hosted on secure platforms, which are embedded in Therapy Assistance Online (TAO). The structure for online appointments will remain similar to in-person sessions.

In addition, SWS is offering two of their most popular training programs online, which have been adapted to meet the current anxieties and circumstances associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Creating a Customized Self-Care Plan will be held on May 13 from 1-2 pm EST, and on May 27 and June 10 from 2-3 pm EST, and will focus on strategies to reduce stress while practicing physical distancing. Identifying and Responding to Students in Distress will be held on May 20, June 3 and June 17 from 2-3 pm EST, and will explore negative emotions associated with physical distancing and highlight healthy coping mechanisms and online resources available to the Queen’s community. 

“Since humans are social creatures, practicing physical distancing can have a negative impact on our wellness,” says Beth Blackett, Health Promotion Special Projects. “We want to emphasize how important it is to find individual strategies for taking care of your physical, mental and social health in addition to creating a community of care to support those in your life who may be struggling.”

The trainings will be recorded and posted on the SWS website for those who are unable to attend.

Students, staff, and faculty can register for the online training sessions through the SWS calendar.

For more information on appointments, resources and services, visit the SWS website.