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The Breakdown: UTM’s Health & Counselling Centre services during COVID-19

Counselling services available virtually, in-person sessions on case-by-case basis
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UTM's Health and Counseling Centre will be operating differently this year. SHANNA HUNTER/THE VARSITY
UTM's Health and Counseling Centre will be operating differently this year. SHANNA HUNTER/THE VARSITY

As UTM continues to operate under pandemic restrictions, some in-person campus services have closed due to COVID-19 diagnoses on campus. Similarly, the Health & Counselling Centre (HCC) at UTM will be conducting most services online, with in-person appointments done on a case-by-case basis.

The HCC provides students with access to clinicians who can “offer short-term, solution-focused counselling and therapy services,” as well as referrals for students to access community resources for complex or long-term care.

The HCC plans to maintain its regular operating hours for the academic year, and personal and mental health counselling — a topic that was discussed at the UTM Campus Affairs Committee meeting — is still available.

Drop-in appointments are currently unavailable, and all initial appointments are scheduled virtually, taking place either over the phone or on a video conference. However, the HCC may determine on a case-by-case basis to hold a meeting in person, and in such individual cases, options will be discussed for a safe in-person meeting.

In cases where an in-person meeting is deemed necessary, students will undergo screening for symptoms upon arrival at the HCC’s clinic. Screenings include temperature checks, and students may have their contacts and travel history screened as well. The HCC will not be providing testing for COVID-19.

Students can access the My Student Support Program, or My SSP, which is an additional support service to existing campus services and allows students to receive immediate free support for any school, health, or life related issue. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Students can use this service to speak with a counsellor, whether through call or chat, regarding their concerns. My SSP is also available as a tool for all U of T students who are outside of Canada. Students can find out how to access My SSP internationally online.

The HCC at UTM also provides students the ability to book appointments with its physicians or nurses to discuss other health related concerns, including chronic illnesses, birth control, sports injuries, and more.

The HCC is also promoting its Wellness at Home initiative, which seeks to provide “daily wellness workshops, activities, and resources from Mondays through Fridays” to students virtually, as stated on the program’s website. The schedule includes programs to promote mindfulness and meditation, connecting with other students, self-care, and more.

The HCC is only accepting debit and credit at this time and is not accepting cash payment. Students can find a list of other mental health-related virtual programs online.