Student Wellness Services

Student Wellness Services

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The Counselling Services department supports the personal, academic and social development of students at Queen's University by providing a range of programs and services appropriate to their needs, and by participating in associated activities. Our mission is to provide a welcoming, confidential and integrated service that is responsive to the needs of students. In our work we seek to:

  1. respect the individuality, dignity and diversity of people who seek our assistance
  2. accept feedback from members of the community
  3. open the way for students to avail themselves of the richness and diversity of the university experience.

Specific Roles

  1. To provide high quality professional health care, counselling, and individual and group therapy to students.
  2. To co-ordinate the delivery of services with disabilities
  3. To provide programmes suited to the needs of university students that will enhance their ability to participate fully in the life of the university.
  4. To provide educational and consultative services to the university community in order to contribute to making the environment beneficial for students.
  5. To train new professionals and students in the provision and evaluation of professional services.
  6. To engage in development, evaluation and research activities in order to:
    1. ensure that services offered address the current needs of students
    2. assess the effectiveness of services offered
    3. ensure that these incorporate recent developments in the field
    4. contribute to the growth of knowledge regarding the needs of students.
  7. To participate as members of the Queen's University community in developmental and professional activities relevant to the department and the community as a whole.


In order to fulfill the above roles, Student Wellness Services (SWS) engages in the following professional activities:

  1. Provision of primary health care, including health-promotion and illness-prevention sensitive to the special needs of students. This includes care by physicians, nurses and psychiatrists.
  2. Provision of infirmary care during clinic hours.
  3. Provision of allergy and immunization injections.
  4. Extended hours (two days per week) and an on-call physician after clinic hours.
  5. Personal, educational, health and career counselling on an individual basis.
  6. Personal, educational, career counselling and therapy, in a group format to help students function more effectively in the academic environment, explore career goals, establish satisfying relationships and become effective in interpersonal areas, as well as adjust to changes in life circumstances (for example, communication skills, learning support, and public speaking).
  7. Administration and interpretation of psychological tests where appropriate (for example, the use of interest or personality inventories).
  8. Outreach programmes focussed on the needs of students who might not otherwise request services (for example, learning support, and health education programmes in residence settings).
  9. Crisis counselling and cross cultural counselling.
  10. Testing, assessment and counselling for students with special learning needs (for example, psychoeducational assessments and group programmes for students with learning disabilities).
  11. Co-ordination and provision of services to students with disabilities; this includes management of appropriate documentation, requesting a variety of accommodations, liaison with faculty and staff, and education of the community on disability issues.
  12. Peer supervision, professional development and other quality assurance activities for all members of Student Wellness Services staff.
  13. Participation in university committees as student service staff with expertise in student concerns and health (physical and mental).

Relationship to the University Community

The department participates in the activities of the university as a provider of services to students, as a source of information and an educational and consultative resource. It is independent of the disciplinary processes of the university.

Operational Values and Practices

  1. The service will promote academic achievement and enrichment through disciplinary and interdisciplinary teams.
  2. Services will be provided in an accessible and inviting facility.
  3. The Department will actively solicit feedback from users and from the community and will be open and responsive to criticisms when these are offered.
  4. The functioning of individual programs in the department and the department as a whole will be reviewed annually.
  5. The Department will work closely with students, student government and the university's administration in order to improve facilities and services, to create a climate of comfort, confidentiality and collegiality, and improve the technical support systems with facilitate the gathering and dissemination of information.
  6. On a regular basis the Department will review all internal policies, procedures and responsibilities in reporting relationships in order to foster an administrative frame-work that provides effective and efficient delivery of service.
  7. The Department will foster effective communications with the community; this includes public relations efforts to inform and educate students, families, faculty and staff of the range of services available.
  8. The Department will support and encourage the professional development of staff by, for example, providing resources to encourage educational and training activities.
  9. The Department will work on developing a simplified intake process supported by front line providers who are responsive to the wide range of issues presented by students.
  10. The Department will encourage and support the pursuit of and dissemination of knowledge.


In order to support the vision and this mission statement, the following describes the structure and activities of the Department:

  1. The internal structure will consist of a Management Team comprised of the Director and representatives of all programs and services.
  2. Disciplinary and cross-disciplinary contact within program areas will be encouraged.
  3. Cross-disciplinary work in specific areas will be encouraged.
  4. The Board of Directors will provide support for the activities of the Department