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January 18, 2022
4 mins read

14 options to take care of your mental health at UBC

If you need help right away, 24/7 crisis support is available. If you or someone else is in immediate danger or at risk of harming yourself or others, call 911.

Even if you’re not the type to set a New Year’s resolution, these dark days of winter are a good time to check in on your mental wellness and seek out any support you might need—or consider helping a friend who might be struggling.

If you’ve never heard of Blue Monday, it supposedly takes place every year in mid-January and folklore (a.k.a. Sky Travel magazine) says it’s the saddest day of the year (but this isn’t actually backed by science). Even if the concept was created to help sell exotic vacations, many still find this time of year to be particularly tough—fewer holidays, higher bills from December shopping, little daylight hours, and maybe not much to look forward to. 

You might find you are struggling to stay on top of courses, friendships, family responsibilities, or work—and maybe those difficulties are starting to affect how you feel. Signs that it’s time to look for extra support for your mental health include a change in appetite, sleep problems, loss of interest in things you usually enjoy, memory issues, increased sensitivity or crying, or feeling easily overwhelmed.

If you feel this way, the good news is that there are supports to help make things a little easier. There are plenty of resources that may improve your mood and your ability to cope. But there is no quick fix; taking care of your mental health is a commitment, and it comes with the ultimate reward.

It takes many people years to get up the courage to address their mental health, so if you’re here looking for help, you’ve already taken the first step.

As a UBC student, you can access a wide variety of supports. It might take some experimenting to find the best resource for you, but don’t give up if your first attempts don’t feel right. Browse the options below to find something that works for you and give it a try. If you are in crisis, support is available right now.

Speak with a professional

Visit the Nurse on campus

If you’re on campus, drop by during certain hours to get personalized tips, resources, and health advice. 

Contact Student Health Services

Request an appointment with a doctor, nurse, or health professional for health assessments and treatments on sexual health, sports medicine, injuries, and more.

Book a Counselling Services appointment

If you're feeling persistently stressed, anxious, or sad, you can book a Counselling appointment by phone.

Make an appointment with a therapist

If you access psychotherapy services from a licensed psychologist, registered clinical counsellor, or a therapist with a Master’s degree in Social Work, you can submit your receipts for up to $1,000 reimbursement per policy year with your AMS/GSS health insurance.

Try the UBC Student Assistance Program by Aspiria

Receive free, 24/7 personal counselling and life coaching, offered in multiple languages, by phone, video counselling, and more.

Find peer support

Connect with IBPOC Wellness Mentors

If you identify as Indigenous, Black, or as a Persons of Colour, receive wellness support and peer mentorship from trained IBPOC students. 

Check out the Wellness Centre online or in-person

Find out more about mental health resources by dropping into the Wellness Centre inside the UBC Life building or attend a virtual Zoom drop-in session.

Join the UBC Student Recovery Community

Connect with other students in a welcoming and inclusive space to learn about recovery from addiction to alcohol, drugs, disordered eating, and/or addictive behaviours.

Take part in group counselling

The group counselling experience can help you connect with other students experiencing similar challenges in an encouraging, supportive, and safe environment. Groups often take place once per week online.

Check out AMS Peer Support

Run by students, for students, AMS offers free, one-on-one, and confidential conversations with trained volunteers. Available online or in person during the school year, pending COVID restrictions.

Join the UBC Pride Collective

If you identify as LGBTQ2S* (or questioning), the UBC Pride Collective hosts weekly discussion groups open to people of all genders and sexualities, no registration or fee required.

A student is sitting by a window, looking out to the distance to a rainy and cloudy view.

On-demand self help

Go to Therapy Assistance Online (TAO)

Manage your well-being with tools for stress, relationship problems, substance use, and more. Register with a UBC email.

Take the Wellness Centre: Online Canvas course

Log into Canvas and learn more about health-related resources on and off campus, access tips and strategies for your wellbeing, and hear from your peers about their experiences.

Get urgent help

If you need help right away, 24/7 crisis support is available. Get help if you or someone else is in immediate danger, or at risk of harming yourself or others.
●    If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or at risk of harm, you can call or chat online with a crisis responder from Crisis Centre BC anytime.
●    If you're in Vancouver, visit your nearest emergency room.
●    Call 911 if you or someone else is in immediate danger, or at risk of harming yourself or others.

Talk with the First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Helpline

If you are an Indigenous student, get immediate mental health counselling or crisis intervention by phone or chat counselling at any time.

More resources

These are just a few of the resources available to you as a UBC student. You can find even more tools by browsing the Health and Wellbeing page.

You might feel overwhelmed right now, but there is hope. Wellbeing is not a destination, but an ongoing part of your life, and it’s not always something you can control. Sometimes you may feel like you're just surviving, and sometimes you may feel like you’re thriving. There are supports available 365 days a year, and remember: you are not alone.