Student Wellness Services

Student Wellness Services

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Psychiatric Services

Student Health Services has three part time psychiatrists and two General Practice (GP) psychotherapists (family physicians who provide psychotherapy) on staff who see students in their offices on the ground floor of Mitchell Hall at 69 Union Street. They provide a wide range of services including assessments, evaluation and medication consultation.  These psychiatric services work in collaboration with our family physicians at Health Services who also follow patients regularly for mental health issues.

Making an Appointment

In order to ensure a shared care experience at Student Health, patients will need to first see a family physician at Health Services in order to receive a referral for a psychiatric consultation. To make a referral to a family physician for assessment, please fax a consultation letter to 613-533-6740 or 613-533-2347, attention Christina, Referral Secretary. Once the consult request is received our referral secretary Christina will contact the patient to schedule an appointment with a family physician who will assess and make a referral if needed.

Psychiatric services on campus are very limited and, as such, the psychiatrists primarily do consults. In our shared care model, psychiatrists work with the family doctors at Health Services to develop a treatment plan. The family doctor’s at Health Services provide regular monitoring and medication prescribing and have guidance from psychiatrists when needed. The counsellors, family physicians, and the nurses at Health Service are highly skilled and provide excellent care. This referral policy allows us to focus our limited resources on those most in need of our particular services.

Cancellation Policy

Failure to attend appointments creates considerable delay in the provision of care for yourself, and blocks access to care for other students in need. It also creates a considerable expense to the Clinic and to the health care providers who work on a fee for service basis. Student Health requires 24 hours’ notice for a cancellation or charges will apply. Please refer to our cancellation policy for associated costs.

Under exceptional circumstances this fee can be waived and is open to further discussion with your clinician. Unpaid bills will be dealt with in the same way as other debt to the university. Owing money to the clinic does not prohibit you from seeing your doctor. To assist you in cancelling appointments, the need for which may arise for all sorts of unavoidable reasons, it is possible to phone the Division's number and leave a message on the answering machine at any hour of the day or night (613-533-2508). Alternatively, e-mail can be sent to the psychiatry secretary

Medical Certificates

In the event that your illness may be interfering with your academic performance, we suggest you contact the departmental office of the courses involved as soon as possible. Leaving a phone message or e-mail with the departmental office or with the professor will go a long way towards protecting your academic program. In the event that certification of your illness is required by your department or by your professor, the Division staff will happily provide this documentation free of charge. We have a policy of maintaining strict confidentiality of our records within the bounds of law. This policy means that we will not release any information about you unless we have your explicit permission to do so. This usually will require you to sign a Release of Information Form. Where circumstances permit, we would prefer that you review the information before it is sent. We will sometimes send a letter to the Dean of your faculty, rather than use a standardized form sent to your professor. The use of personalized letters to the Dean has proven particularly successful where there may be significant accommodations required of your academic program. The Dean's office often serves as a good advocate for your interests. There will be no charge made for the provision of Medical Certificates or such letters on your behalf. There are, however, movements under foot within the provincial government, which may change the regulations around the provision of letters. As you may already know, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan does not compensate physicians for the provision of letters. Any appointment that was made strictly for the purpose of obtaining a medical note is also not funded by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan. It is the direction of the Ministry of Health that we bill such a service provision directly to you or, pending the new legislation, directly to the party requesting this information. You can discuss any concerns about such charges with your physician. In exceptional circumstances these charges may be waived or reduced.

In the event that other forms or reports are required for the purposes of insurance, legal assistance, third party medical reports, etcetera, you will be subject to a charge for these, please see our price list for uninsured services for associated costs.

Teaching Services

Staff members within the Division of Psychiatry have teaching appointments with the university. It is possible that you may encounter some of the staff in these other roles. Be reassured we do adhere to strict confidentiality; however, if particular concerns arise for you, we will be happy to discuss them with you.

Also working at the Division as part of our teaching role are Psychiatry Residents. Residents are medical graduates who are taking advanced training in psychiatry or in family medicine. These senior trainees work with considerable independence, but remain under the supervision and the responsibility of the attending physician. If a resident is providing your direct care, this resident meets regularly and discusses your care with the attending psychiatrist. You are also free to meet with the attending psychiatrist if you have any particular concerns about the care provided.

In Case of an Emergency

In the event that you experience an emergency outside the usual operating hours of the clinic, there are some options available to you. Each physician at the Division of Psychiatry has different arrangements, so it will be important for you to ascertain from your clinician their availability after hours and what other resources they would recommend to you if you experience a crisis after hours.

It is important to note that in an immediate life and death situation you are best served by attending the emergency department at Kingston General Hospital which offers 24-hour emergency care.  Hotel Dieu Hospital operates an Urgent Care Centre, open 8 am to 8 pm 365 days/year for non-life threatening illness or injury. Waiting times in the emergency room/urgent care centre can vary considerably.

Access to inpatient psychiatric beds is best made through the Kingston General Hospital, as that is where psychiatric beds are sited currently. Emergencies in these circumstances are issues of immediate dangers to self or others, or rapid deterioration in mental state. If you have specific non-urgent physical health concerns, these are best dealt with through your family physician. In a life-threatening physical health emergency, again, you are best served by going to the nearest hospital. If the matter is not life threatening but is more of an urgent nature related to your psychiatric care at the division, you can call the 24-hour answering machine at 533-2508 and leave a message. These messages are picked up on the morning of the next working day and will be addressed by the staff available that day.

Limits to confidentiality

Please take special note, while we have a strict policy of confidentiality and division members take every reasonable precaution to protect your confidences, there are legal limits to confidentiality. These laws make specific requirements of our professional staff to report health card fraud, child abuse and children in need of protection, unsafe drivers, unsafe pilots and certain other transportation operators, as well as sexually abusive health professionals. We are also required to take specific action if a person, on the basis of a mental disorder, poses a danger to themselves or to others. All patients of Health Services will be asked to sign a consent form to allow the various divisions of Student Wellness Services to communicate and coordinate patient care. This consent is optional. Most students expect we already do coordinate care, as permitted under the Personal Health Information Protection Act, but we prefer to have your explicit permission. Your clinician would be happy to discuss any concerns you may have about these very important matters.

Our privacy Commitment to our Patients

Collection of Personal Health Information

At Student Health Services we protect your personal health information. Personal health information includes information such as your name, date of birth, address, health history, records of your visits to our various clinics and the care you receive during those visits.

Uses and Disclosure of Personal Health Information

We use and share your personal health information to:

  1. Care for you and obtain payment for that care

  2. Teach healthcare professionals

  3. Undertake Research Ethics Board approved research and compile statistics

  4. Plan, administer and manage our internal operations

  5. Conduct risk management and quality improvement activities such as sending patient satisfaction surveys.

Regulatory colleges, such as the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, who also have their own strict privacy guidelines, also have access to this information for their purposes of audit, quality control and accountability.

Your Choices

You may withdraw your consent to share your personal health information for research, fund-raising or patient satisfaction surveys. Withdrawal of consent is not retroactive and must be provided in writing. You have the right to see and correct your personal health records.

Important Information

We take steps to protect your personal health information from theft, loss, non-authorized access, copying, modification, use, disclosure and disposal.
We take steps to ensure that everyone who performs services for us protects your privacy and only uses your personal health information for the purposes for which you consented. 

Other Psychiatric Resources

Mental Health Resources Guide for Kingston and the Surrounding Area

Canadian Mental Health Association:

Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments:

Mood Disorders Society of Canada:

Mood Gym (free online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) CBT):

Anxiety BC:

Canadian Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Resource Alliance:

Good2talk (helpline):

Addiction & Mental Health Services

Addiction and Mental Health Services Kingston Frontenac Lennox & Addington (AMHS-KFLA) (crisis and other services):

Tips for Waking up Successfully in the Morning (PDF 77KB)