University of Toronto Magazine University of Toronto Magazine
Saretta Herman
Saretta Herman. Photo by Ian Patterson

Placing Counsellors Where Students Need Them

Mental health services are now offered at more than 20 faculties and colleges

Since 2014, the Rossy Foundation has donated $3 million toward student mental health, helping the university expand care across the three campuses. There are now counsellors in more than 20 faculties, programs and colleges. Here, Saretta Herman (MSW 2011), a wellness counsellor in the Faculty of Medicine, talks about the advantages of being “on location.”  

“For a lot of students, transitions can be tough – moving from high school to university, or from living at home to a room in residence. We see a lot of students worried about their academic workload. We also hear about struggles with life events, such as a breakup or serious illness in the family.

By being where students take classes, we make it easier for them to access help right when they need it. It also gives us knowledge of the culture of the programs or college, and the unique stressors students there may be facing.

We don’t have long wait times because we focus on early intervention. Our aim is to catch students when they’re just starting to feel overwhelmed or experience anxiety or depression. I always tell students who think they might need us to come in before things get worse. A few sessions can arm them with valuable coping skills. And if their needs are more complex, we can help them get the right support through the Health and Wellness Centre.”

– As told to Megan Easton

Recent Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *