School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

Staying Well

Finding mental space to look after yourself in grad school can come at the end of a long list, somewhere after marking, term work, exams, and finishing a dissertation. Move staying well up your list of priorities – make ‘you time’ each and every day.  This need not be lengthy but it will help keep you well, motivated and productive.  The following resources, from how to find a doctor, where to exercise, or find help coping with loneliness or psychological distress, may be helpful.

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All of these services uphold strict standards of confidentiality.

School of Graduate Studies On-site Counsellor

Graduate studies provide opportunities for exciting new challenges and experiences. However, there are times when it can seem overwhelming. If you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, sad, lonely or distressed, you do not need to handle it alone.  The School of Graduate Studies has two embedded counsellors (Anja Troje and Dennis Pringle) who provide individual counselling services to graduate students, group programs, and will host mental health & wellness events.  

Please note that this counselling service is part of the services provided by Student Wellness and adheres to strict standards of confidentiality. Your counselling records will not be shared with anyone unless you give specific consent for release of your information.

How to Access Counselling Services at Queen’s

To book a counselling appointment, call 613-533-6000 x78264. This is a dedicated phone line and has confidential voicemail. All services are strictly confidential.

Student Wellness Services

(Formerly the Health, Counselling and Disability Services)
This integrated service offers counselling as well as general health care.

Cross-cultural Advising

The experience of studying in a new environment can be both exciting and challenging, but sometimes also overwhelming and stressful. The cross-cultural advisor, Dr. Arunima Khanna, provides support to graduate students.

Peer Advising with SGPS (Society for Graduate and Professional Students)

Advocacy and support for graduate and professional students as they negotiate their many roles as students, researchers, teachers, employees and colleagues.

Support Services for Students in Distress

This comprehensive list includes on campus and community resources.

LGBTQ2 Supports

Unfair differential treatment based on someone's sexual orientation is not acceptable at Queen's.

Queen's policy is modelled on the Ontario Human Rights Code, which makes it against the law to discriminate against someone or to harass them because of their sexual orientation.

Homophobic conduct and comment are prohibited as part of the Code's protection against discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation, no matter what the target's sexual orientation is, or is perceived to be.

Queen's Human Rights Office

Minister Ruth Wood (Office of the Chaplain) , facilitator of the Campus Group COLA

Learning About Mental Health

Mental Health Training

Queen's offers many workshops on mental health awareness and training. Especially valuable is Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Canada. Workshops on identifying and responding to students in distress and programs to challenge stigma are also offered.

My Grad Skills: Mental Health and Well-Being

This free 90-minute online module in the My Grad Skills suite offers strategies for maintaining mental health and wellbeing in grad school.

Expanding Horizons

Expanding Horizons offers workshops on time management, anxiety, finding momentum and keeping it, getting unstuck, dealing with adversity, and psychological wellbeing that are specifically designed for graduate students and the unique challenges that may be encountered in graduate school.

The Green Card and Folder

This resource offers advice on how to help friends and students in crisis.

Combating Loneliness, Stress, and Low-mood

Dissertation Writing Groups 

If you are finding thesis writing to be solitary and isolating, connect with fellow graduate students over writing and food in Dissertation Boot Camp, Dissertation on the Lake, Thesis Persistence 101, or the Ban Righ Writing Studio.

Departmental and Campus-Wide Events

Check out the university events calendar to find out about talks and events across campus. Or consider taking an Expanding Horizons, Mitacs workshop, or a certificate program like Inter-Cultural Competencies.

Self-help Workbook Series

These workbooks provide support with managing your mood and anxiety, and looking after yourself.


Check out the resources on Volunteering to find out about opportunities to volunteer on campus or in the community. Internships provide another opportunity for connecting with people in a new setting.

Eat Well, Sleep Well, Work Well

Eat Well

  • Be Well Healthy Eating Tips
    Information about meal planning, nutrition and fun food ideas make eating well easier.
  • Optional Meal Plans for Graduate Students
    Optional Meal Plans are available for purchase by all students living off-campus. Graduate students are eligible to purchase our ‘Graduate Student Meal Plan’ which is valid for a five (5) week period.
  • Allergy Information
    Information and resources for students with severe allergies.

Sleep Well

Studies have unambiguously demonstrated the vital importance of getting enough sleep.

Work Well

A recent survey of graduate student health reported that many grad students experience back pain. This resource gives you tips about how to plan your work space and work habits to reduce this risk and how to deal with back pain.

Sexual Violence Prevention and Support

Support at Queen's

Queen’s University is committed to providing non-judgmental sexual assault support and response. Sexual assault is any type of unwanted sexual activity. Queen’s encourages survivors to reach out for support and offers the following steps as options to consider:

Steps to take after a Sexual Assault (78 KB) - Queen's Poster, March 2016 - Best printed on 11x14

See the new Queen's Sexual Prevention and Response website

Finding a Doctor

In an emergency: Call 911

24-hour Emergency Care: Kingston General Hospital, 76 Stuart St.

Local Kingston and Queen’s Health Services

As a Queen’s community member, you have a variety of options for finding a doctor. This page lists information on emergency services, family doctors, and children’s doctors in Kingston and on campus.

Student Wellness Services

(Formerly the Health, Counselling and Disability Services.)
All Students and their adult dependents will have a family physician at Queen’s Health, Counselling, and Disability Services, 146 Stuart St, LaSalle Building. HCDS/Student Wellness Services covers health, well-being, counselling, and disability services. The staff is made up of family physicians and registered nurses and provides infirmary care during clinic hours, allergy and immunization injections, extended hours and an on-call physician after clinic hours. Appointment hours are Monday – Thursday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, and Friday – 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Book an appointment by calling 613-533-2506.

TeleHealth Ontario

1 (866) 797-0000

This service offers free confidential access to registered nurses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Finding a Dentist

Most dentists take new patients. Ask for referrals from friends and colleagues. Check if they do direct billings to your health insurance group, accept credit cards, have evening hours and are conveniently located to campus or to your home.

Health Insurance

Primary Health Coverage

 Supplementary health coverage for all Graduate students 

The Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) provides a supplementary health plan that includes coverage for: prescription medicine, dental, vision care and travel, etc. (things not covered by primary health plans).

Medical Leave and Transferring to Part-Time Status

Medical Leave and Transferring to Part-Time Status

If you are managing challenging medical or personal circumstances that prevent you from engaging in full-time study, changing to part-time status may be an option. Medical leave is available for students who are unwell or who must provide care for members of their immediate family. Financial assistance for a medical leave may be available. If you have OSAP or are on a student visa, please check with the Director, Admissions and Student Services, SGS if changing your registration status will affect those arrangements.

Athletics and Recreation

The Athletics and Recreation Centre (ARC)

All students have free access to the ARC (as part of your student fees). In addition, over 60 fitness classes per week, including yoga, spin, and swimming are offered, some free-of charge, others with extra cost. You can try the fitness classes for free during the Fitness Free-For-All weeks in September, January, and May. You can also book an individual consultation for a fee with a professional trainer to develop your own fitness plan, or learn about Varsity athletics through the ARC website. Summer Intramurals – soccer, ultimate Frisbee and softball – run all summer, as do pick-up sports. Email to get on the free agent’s list. Whatever you do to get active and stay healthy, and no matter your skill level, Queen’s has an athletic option for you.

The Graduate student’s athletic fee covers:

  • Membership at the ARC for the full year – cardio, weights, pool, select fitness classes, squash courts, casual recreation (see red classes on the Fitness Plus Schedule)
  • Intramural sports for the full year, including summer intramurals! Over 6,800 Queen’s students participate in 30 sports leagues. See full details 
  • Free tickets for regular season Gaels games: view the full schedule
  • There are additional services that can be purchased – personal training, additional fitness classes, locker rental and laundry services, equipment rental, etc all of which can be found on this website

Recreation in the Kingston area

This page offers a detailed overview of options for recreation activities in and around Kingston.

Casual Recreation

Work around your schedule with this list of casual sports and recreational activities offered at Queen's.