How to find mental health help at Dal

If you’re struggling, know that you're not alone and that you have a lot of support options on and off campus.

Did you know that in addition to counsellors, Dal has a resident social worker?

Chances are, your mental health will be negatively affected at some point in your life. I experienced a pretty serious mental illness while at Dal, and I want to make resources more available for other students. Trust me, I know the courage and energy required to reach out and I know how quickly that motivation can disappear when services aren’t easy to access. So I’ve laid out the basics of what Dal offers for students and how to go about accessing these resources. Take good care of yourself, everyone!

One-on-one counselling

Looking to meet with a healthcare professional and get some answers to what’s going on? Dalhousie’s interprofessional team of staff gives you access to doctors, nurses, counsellors, and social workers every day. Not sure who you need to see? The Student Health & Wellness website has some FAQs about appointments. When I was struggling with an eating disorder, I was seeing a physician at the Dal clinic nearly every week. They were able to send in a referral on my behalf, and I was able to get adequate treatment.

Appointments can be booked online and are available daily.

Group counselling

If talking it out one-on-one with a healthcare professional doesn’t feel doable for you, you’re not alone! Therapy groups can also be super beneficial in gaining healthy coping mechanisms and building resilience when it comes to mental health. Even more, it makes you feel a little bit less alone. Currently, Dalhousie is offering six virtual therapy groups:

  • Graduate Student Drop-in Support Group
  • Eating Disorders Drop-in Support Group
  • Coping with COVID-19 Drop-in Support Group
  • Building Resilience Group
  • Managing Anxiety Group
  • Navigating Interpersonal Relationships Group

You'll need to RSVP to group counselling in order to receive access to the virtual sessions.

Check out our recent article on the group counselling options currently being offered.

Self-guided support

Opening up feels vulnerable and can be scary, but that doesn’t mean that help isn’t available to you. As a student, you have access to several self-guided mental health support resources.

First is the Q-Life Resilience Project. Q-Life is an interactive online program that helps you deal with daily stress by building resilience.

Therapy Assistance Online is another cool mental health program for students that actually offers access to an entire library of interactive modules to complete.

Next is Good2Talk, a counselling phone line made specifically for students in Nova Scotia. Good2Talk offers free, confidential counselling 24/7/365. Just call 1-833-292-3698 or text GOOD2TALKNS to 686868 to access.

Finally, I want to bring some attention to the Inquiring Mind Post-Secondary program. This 4-hour workshop teaches you about stigma reduction, resilience, coping, and supporting others in accordance with the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

Student groups

This may be a bit of a self-plug, but there are some fantastic student societies on campus that are truly doing the work to support the mental health of the Dalhousie community. (Full disclosure: I started the Ninety Percent Society.) Whether you’re looking for support or are passionate about mental health and want to join as a member, take a chance to meet some of Dal’s magnificent mental health student organizations:

You can also check out our other articles that deal with mental health issues, including personal stories of some of our own mental health journeys.