By Reema Najjar, Asha Swann
As you start the new school year after a stressful two-and-a-half years in the pandemic, it’s important to remember that taking care of your mental health is going to go a long way as the semester progresses. Having support in place as you navigate this brand new environment will set you up for success. The Eyeopener has compiled a list of free resources for students, including support for sexual assault survivors, the Centre for Student Development and Counseling, Academic Accommodation for students with disabilities and the Equity Services Centre, which encompasses six collective groups.
Mental health coverage through the TMUSU
Did you know therapy is covered through the Toronto Metropolitan University Students’ Union (TMUSU)? You are insured for $1000 worth of therapy and health services each year and that amount resets annually. Once you exceed that amount, the cost must be covered out of your own pocket. Students are covered through the union by Green Shield Canada. For eligible students starting in the Fall semester, coverage begins Sept. 1, and ends Aug. 31. For eligible students starting in the Winter semester, coverage begins on Jan. 1 and ends Aug. 31.
Your insurance covers services provided by psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors/social workers. To be eligible for this coverage, the person counselling you must have a masters in Social Work. For counselling and video therapy services, Toronto Metropolitan University uses a website called InkBlot Therapy.
Equity Service Centres
Within the Equity Service Centres are The Centre for Women & Trans People, The Good Food Centre, Racialised Students’ Collective, RyeACCESS, RyePRIDE and the Trans Collective. Each service is located on the second floor of the Student Centre. These services are all based around peer support: they feature volunteers (often other students) that allow you to connect with like-minded members of the TMU community. The Centre for Women & Trans People hosts trans-affirming and feminist-focused events, including a women’s only gym night. RyePRIDE and the Trans Collective meet regularly to advocate for queer and trans-positive spaces on campus. The Racialised Students’ Collective and RyeACCESS each focus on fighting racism on campus and creating accessible spaces for students with disabilities.
Centre for Student Development and Counseling
The Centre for Student Development and Counseling (CSDC) offers free, confidential counselling services, which include a team of psychologists, social workers, psychotherapists and counselling interns. To book an appointment with the CSDC email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Academic Accommodation Support
If you need accommodation in any classes, don’t hesitate to contact Academic Accommodation Support (AAS). Students with disabilities can receive individualized academic support, which can include things like extensions, accommodations, and extra time on tests. If you feel you might benefit from AAS, you can learn how to register here.
Consent Comes First
Consent Comes First (CCS) is a free support centre for survivors of sexual assault and gender-based violence. CCS also provides referrals to counselling and medical services, academic/workplace accommodations and advocacy for those looking to contact the police.
Centre for Safer Sex and Sexual Violence Support
Expensive hygiene products stressing you out? Or maybe you’re looking for tips on how to leave a toxic relationship? Check out the Centre for Safer Sex and Sexual Violence Support for free products and confidential support. The CSSVS provides free menstrual hygiene products and safe sex products for TMU students. The group also provides resources on consent, contraceptives, and healthy relationships and offers support for survivors of sexual violence through its 24-hour chatline and in-person appointments.