Mental and Emotional Wellbeing

How can I manage my stress?

Stress is normal

Stress occurs when the demands on a person exceed their ability to cope.

As a student, there are many things that could cause you stress – the most obvious are exams and assignment deadlines, work, problems with friendships and relationships, financial problems, and balancing studying and life. However, even positive events, like a new relationship, or starting a new university year can also cause stress. Whatever is causing you stress, what matters is most is learning how to deal with stress in positive ways. Here are some tips!

Limit Alcohol and Caffeine, Eat well balances meals, Get enough sleep, Exercise.Put t in perspective, accept the things beyond your control, think positive, set reasonable expectation for yourself

Is it normal to feel homesick?

It's Natural to Feel Homesick

Moving away for university is a big transition, whether you've come from the other side of the world or half an hour down the road.

If you're suffering from homesickness, just remember you're definitely not the only one. Those around you probably are too, but don't feel comfortable talking about it. We've got some tips on how to get through it.

What mental health supports are available?

Lakehead students have acccess to a range of supports,services and programming to support their mental health.

Complete a self-assessment using the WellU Key to see where you are and learn more about the services available to you.

Indigenous Student Services Centre (Thunder Bay) and Indigenous Initiatives (Orillia)

Sheryl O'Reilly is our Indigenous Student Counsellor and Transition Advisor. She is available to support Indigenous students with their transition and mental health needs. You can also speak with an Elder in Residence for both individual and group support.

LUSU Mental Health Coverage and Other Supports

You are eligible for coverage of mental health services offered through the LUSU benefits on both campuses

Students who enroll in the LUSU health and dental plan are covered for mental health services such as a clinical psychologist (including RSW and MSW social workers, and psycho-educational assessment).

For more details about your mental health coverage, please visit LUSU Health Plan. If you require further assistance from LUSU, please feel free to email us at


Off-Campus Mental Health Support

In addition to on-campus supports, there are many off-campus supports that can be very useful tools for you.

TalkCampus is a global, 24/7, student peer support app available to all Lakehead students no matter where they are studying from. Students can get support from other students and get information about mental health resources in their area. Your student email address will give you free access, just download TalkCampus from the app stores. Visit here for more information. 

Good2Talk is a free, confidential service for post-secondary students in Ontario, available 24/7/365. By calling 1-866-925-5454, you can receive professional counselling and information and referrals for mental health, addictions and well-being.

Crisis Text Line powered by Kids Help Phone is a free, confidential texting service, available 24/7/365. By texting GOOD2TALKON to 686868, post-secondary students in Ontario can be connected to a trained volunteer Crisis Responder who is there to listen and support students with any issue they’re facing.

Don't be afraid to reach out, there are a lot of great supports available. Click here for more information.

How does stepped care work?

At Student Health and Wellness we use a "stepped care" framework

We believe that when it comes to mental health, a tailored approach works best. Traditional face-to-face therapy is relatively inflexible and increasingly students like you, are seeking customized services to fit their busy lives.

Our stepped care model offers many options and you are encouraged to "step on" and "step off" at the right time, and in the right place for you. Check out our "Stepped Care" document for more information!

What is culture shock and cultural transitioning?

Culture Shock

Culture shock is the feeling of disorientation/discomfort experienced by someone when they are suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture, way of life or set of values.

There are 5 stages of culture shock:

  1. The Honeymoon Stage - You are very positive, curious, and anticipate new and exciting experiences. "I can't wait to get there!"
  2. Irritability and Hostility - You start to feel that what is different is actually inferior. The host culture is confusing or the systems are frustrating. You may blame your frustrations on the new culture (and its shortcomings) rather than on the adaptation process. You may also feel homesick -- "I just want to go home!"
  3. Gradual Adjustment - You feel more relaxed and develop a more balanced, objective view of your experience. "It is not so bad here!"
  4. Adaptation of Biculturalism - You feel a new sense of belonging and sensitivity to the host culture. "I belong!"
  5. Re-entry Shock - You go home and it isn't what you expected it to be. "This isn't how I remember it!"

What can I do?

Tips for Coping with culture shock

  • Familiar things: keep familiar things around you, like photographs or ornaments.
  • Food: find a supplier of familiar foods if possible, your international student advisor can help.
  • Exercise: not only a great way to keep fit and improve your mood, but also a great way to meet people!
  • Make friends: with other international students (they will understand how you are feeling) and with other domestic students (you can learn more about your host culture).
  • Take advantage of help offered: we are here to help, talk with your International Student Advisor or check out all the support services offered at Student Health and Wellness

Lakehead International is Here to Help!

Connect through our online community of care to find out more about student services, events, visa and immigration, health insurance and new student pre-arrival! Connect here

 How can I build my skills in mindfulness and resiliency?

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is a mental training practice that can help you slow down racing thoughts, let go of negativity and calm your mind and body. It is also a skill which can grow our resilience. At Student Health and Wellness we offer guided mindfulness meditation sessions -- check out our calendar of events

Want to learn a bit more about resiliency?

Resiliency is defined as the ability to recover quickly from difficulties, or, “toughness”. Resilient people are better equipped to handle transition and life changes and typically bounce back from setbacks more quickly and with less trouble. Resilience is a combination of skills and attributes that are gained and developed over time. The great thing is that resilience skills can be practiced and learned. Check out WellU Resilience on D2L:

  • Go to MyCourselink (
  • Log in using your Lakehead username and password
  • Click the "Self Registration: Academic Support and Training" near the top-right of the page
  • Select "WellU Resilience" from the list
  • Follow the steps presented until it confirms that you've been registered
  • Complete the modules
  • Receive your certificate of completion


What do I need to know about living independently?

I've never lived on my own before, what can I expect?

One thing that you gain when you go away for university, is independence.

You're free to do as you please, whenever you please. You can stay up as late as you want, put off cleaning, blast music until 3 am … the list is seemingly endless. However, this freedom also brings with it more responsibility. You have to take care of every aspect of your life. When these responsibilities become an afterthought, they can make living on your own very stressful.

I'm nervous about living with roommates

University is many people's first experience living with someone who is not related to them. It comes with both benefits and challenges.

Getting along with your roommates can enhance your experience. You get an instant friend, someone to confide in and keep you company during your first time away from home. However, you also run the risk of living with someone you find challenging or don't relate to right away. Either way, here's some good advice:

Independence While Maintaining Important Family and Friend Relationships

A lot of students feel that their relationships with family and friends shift once they start university. The balancing act between being present at school and keeping in touch with your family and friends back home can be a major source of stress.

While it can feel lonely or scary to go through these relationship changes, it is a normal part of your development as a person. You are becoming independent, starting new relationships, and learning about yourself. it is up to you to decide how much contact feels right for you to have with your family and friends. Staying in touch does not have to be a huge time commitment- texting, commenting on photos or posts, or sending Snaps can go a long way to maintaining relationships.

My family and friends are in completely different time zones than me, how can I stay in touch?

Combating the time zone difference can be a huge obstacle when trying to stay connected with friends and family

  1. Schedule calls/video chats on weekends- It can be difficult to accommodate time changes without disrupting your sleep schedule so take some time out of your day during the weekend and plan to speak with friends and family a few days in advance. Sometimes it can make the week go by a little faster knowing you're going to be connecting with your family on the weekend.
  2. WhatsApp & Group Chats- WhatsApp is totally free, and allows you to avoid long distance charges. It also lets you have group chats no matter what kind of phone you use. Even if you and your friends are scattered all around the world across many different time zones, you can all be part of the same conversation in the same WhatsApp group chat. Having that shared conversation directly accessible to you at all times through your phone can make your friends feel that little bit closer.
  3. Snapchat is Your Friend- Snapchat is a great way to stay in touch with friends and family because the app enables people to share things in the moment. By being able to share little snippets of your life and new experiences as they are happening, it lets people feel more connected with you, and help you to feel more connected with them

Physical Wellbeing

What campus rec options do I have?


Intramurals are a great way to get involved and keep active!

During a regular school year, Campus Rec offers a variety of team based intramural sports. This is an excellent opportunity to practice your skills and meet new people. If you want to know more click here

On-campus Fitness

Participating in on-campus fitness is a great way to meet your fitness and personal goals during a busy school year.

Campus Rec on the Thunder Bay campus offers personal training and group fitness opportunities for any level athlete. The classes available range from cardio, strength, dance-oriented, and more. This allows you to pick the classes that suit your fitness needs! For more info click here

You can also get involved in yoga through Moda Yoga. This is a nice way to relax before an exam or to de-stress after long hours of studying. For more info click here

In Orillia, there are a variety of registered and drop-in programs available to you. You can also get involved in fitness through the YMCA, join an aquajog class or hit the weight room! Register for all Orillia Recreation Programs on mySuccess!

What kind of medical services are available and how can I access them?

Which healthcare providers can I access on campus?

We provide a range of medical services to help support you.

Thunder Bay

Student Health and Wellness is your family doctor away from home. We have appointment based medical services for all registered part-time and full-time students at Lakehead University.

You will be seen by a nurse and/or physician for medical appointments which may address new illnesses, chronic illnesses, immunization, sexual health concerns, TB skin tests or a referral. You can book an appointment by calling 807-343-8361.


Student Health and Wellness has partnered with a suite of healthcare professionals to help you stay healthy. Appointments are available at the Wellness Centre with a naturopathic doctor, chiropractor, and sexual health nurse. Virtual medical services are also available with the Huronia Nurse Practitioner-led Clinic. Appointments for medical services can be requested through MySuccess.

How do I find out about health and wellness programming?

We offer a variety of workshops and programs to help you to learn skills for managing the problems that impact your daily life. You can find out about our upcoming schedule by visiting our website or following us on social media, @lakeheadlife (Tbay), @lakeheador (Orillia)

What kind of health and dental coverage do I have?

LUSU Health and Dental Plan

All full time, undergraduate students who register for at least 3.75 credits per semester (Fall/Winter) before the registration deadline (subjected to change every school year) are automatically enrolled in LUSU's Health and Dental Plan.

Your coverage lasts all year from September 1st to August 31st (even after school ends), so you never have to worry about losing your benefits. Part-time, Grad students, and students starting in the winter term can opt-in to the benefits by visiting LUSU Health and Dental Plan during the opt-in period for your term start date. To learn more about your coverage details visit the webpage or email us at

Provincial Coverage

Don't forget to bring your provincial insurance card with you to school!

Students from Ontario

It is important that you know what medical coverage you are entitled to while you are studying at Lakehead University.

The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) pays for many different services that you may need to use while in university. If you are unsure if you are eligible for OHIP, please reviewed them here

It is important to mention, that to be covered by OHIP you must have a medical reason to receive a service or treatment. To learn more about the specifics of what OHIP will cover.

Students from out of Ontario

Good news! You can use your provincial health card plan in Ontario. It is important that you contact your provincial provider to discuss health care coverage while you are out of the province for a long period of time.

International Coverage

In order to receive health care coverage here at Lakehead, you must be enrolled in the University Health Insurance Plan.

Once you are enrolled, your UHIP card will be e-mailed to you. The UHIP will be paid for on your first installment of tuition.
Here is a comprehensive list of the medical services your UHIP covers, go to the link here

As well, in some cases when using your UHIP card, you will be asked to pay upfront. If this occurs, you must submit a claim. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the process prior to utilizing medical services, here you will find all the information to make a claim, click here

Please note that Student Health and Wellness on the Thunder Bay campus bills directly and does not require you to pay upfront costs.

How do I maintain healthy eating habits?

Healthy Eating

You not only have to deal with adjusting to high-level coursework, social changes, and living away from home, but you may also encounter health-inhibiting factors like tight budgets, busy schedules, and figuring out how to eat well without parental guidance.

Learning some nutrition basics can help you have more energy and stay healthy. You can incorporate these simple strategies, even if you're busy!

Eating on a Budget

Stick to your list. Shop for Sales. Compare Prices. Stock Up. Consider the season. Set a budget.

Food Resource Centre 

We seek to address the current problems in the university food system and advocate for accessible, affordable, culturally diverse, nutritious and sustainable foods on campus. We will bring awareness to larger issues tied to food insecurity.

Eating on Campus

Our Lakehead Thunder Bay cafeteriaIt IS possible to stay healthy on campus, even with a meal plan. Check out the dining options!

What is so important about this whole sleep thing?

Sleep is important for your success

Sleep is critical for learning and memory. The process of learning is actively taken up by your brain during sleep, especially during the REM stage. Sleep is essential for long-term memory formation and it is during sleep that memory consolidation and enhancement occurs.

Your sleep cycle is going to shift at university but here's some tips to get a good night's rest.

Sleep habits infographic. This is bad to have on our website.

What does responsible substance use look like?


Students drink for a lot of reasons-peer pressure, wanting to have fun, to socialize, to be drunk, being bored or lacking alternatives to drinking, or to make up for times when they could not drink (e.g., exam period).

Tips for safe drinking

If you choose to drink, for whatever reason, it’s important you know how to stay safe.

Check out these ideas to get you started!

Eat and drink water before and while drinking alcohol. Try setting a reminder on your phone. Set a drink limit before you start drinking and stick to it. Know when you’ve had enough and say so.

I don't drink, what can I do instead?

Movies and your friends' snap chats might have you believing that all of university's social events are centered around alcohol but you have plenty of other options to spend your free time.

You can figure out something to do rather than drinking, but if you do be responsibleYou can figure out something to do rather than drinking, but if you do be responsible but in Orillia


"Recreational smoking or vaping of cannabis on Lakehead University Property is prohibited. Recreational consumption of cannabis through other means on Lakehead University Property is prohibited except in residence rooms"

If you choose to use cannabis off-campus, it is important you know how to use it safely.

Here are some points to using cannabis safely:

  • If you choose to use, try to limit use to only on weekends.
  • One substance at a time. Combining cannabis with other substances such as alcohol may cause unpredictable reactions.
  • Do not use cannabis and drive. Cannabis can impair your motor coordination and judgement.
  • Be aware of the universities regulations regarding cannabis and consider the social, cultural, and legal implications.
Where can I get information about sexual health?

Sexual Health Resources

When it comes to sex, you might think you are the only one with questions or concerns but that is definitely not the case.

Student Health and Wellness

At Student Health and Wellness, we want to help you address those concerns and your sexual health in general. Good sexual health is not just about preventing STIs or unplanned pregnancies, it is about having safer, satisfying, and pleasurable sexual experiences. Our counsellors are also happy to help you navigate relationship concerns. Book a medical appointment for pregnancy testing, STI testing, or to talk about contraceptive options. Or stop by to stock up on free external condoms and dental dams we have available.

University is a time when many students begin to sort out their values and figure out who they are. It is not unusual for some students to question their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression and to explore how to integrate these with the rest of their life.

Students who are part of the Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual (2SLGBTQQIA+) community have enough on their plates navigating the usual pressures of post-secondary life without having to worry about feeling safe or discriminated against.  Student Health and Wellness provides a safe space, where you can find support, resources, information and care. Please click here for more information about on campus and off campus supports for our 2SLGBTQQIA+community!

PRIDE Central and Gender Equity Centre

Ran by LUSU, PRIDE Central and the Gender Equity Centre are additional resources to provide support to students with specific sexual health needs, such as LGBTQ2S+ students.

At these centres, students are supported without judgement. Both of these centres are great places to talk to other students who may be facing similar concerns, talk to the centres staff about specific concerns, and connect you to targeted supports in your community to suit your sexual health needs.

Are there resources for 2SLGBTQIIA+ students?

What should I consider when staying safe in my community?

Tips for Staying Safe in Your Community

No matter where you are, it is important that you know how to stay safe and what resources are available to do so.

  1. Call for help on campus. Lakehead University security is always available. It is a good idea to put their contact numbers in your cell phone number or make sure you know where their number is posted in your residence. Security number 8911 hall.
  2. Be alert. Make sure you are always aware of your surroundings.
  3. Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to arrive or be home again.
  4. Keep your doors and windows locked and don't let someone in unless you know who it is.
  5. Understand your new community's crime. If you are aware of crime in your local area, you can better prevent similar incidents from happening to you.

    At night...

  6. Stay on well lit paths on- and off-campus. Avoid dark areas such as back paths.
  7. This is a great time to take advantage of Lakehead's Safe Walk Program.
  8. If you are drinking off-campus, know your limit and plan a safe way home instead of walking alone.

Lakehead University Mobile Safety App

We have developed an app to give students like yourself an efficient way to access resources on campus, such as emergency contacts, a safety tool box and more. As well, safety alerts can be communicated in real-time through the app.

If you would like to download Lakehead MobileSafety app, visit the Apple Store or Google Play.

Run-Hide-Fight Project 

In the event an active assailant threatens the safety of our campuses, it is important to know what we can do to protect ourselves and those around us. Your safety, and the safety of those around you, will depend on how quickly we react to a situation.

Run Hide Fight

Everything you need to know you can find it here

Cultural Wellbeing

How can I connect with cultural supports?

Cultural Supports

Your culture is a big part of your identity and ensuring your cultural wellbeing is very important to us.

At Lakehead, we embrace all cultures and celebrate the diversity of our student population. Two of the main cultural supports are Lakehead University International and Indigenous Initiatives.

Lakehead University International (LUI)

Students discussing in the Student LoungeOur staff at Lakehead University International are warm and welcoming, and are extremely knowledgeable. We have International Advisors as well as an Immigration Advisor that are here to support your needs and can provide culturally inclusive advising.

We encourage you to join one of the amazing programs here offered by LUI to connect with the Lakehead International team and your fellow international students.  It's a great way to connect and engage with other students, make new friends and have some fun outside of your studies.

Indigenous Student Cultural Supports

Lakehead University offers a variety of Indigenous-based cultural services in order to support you
on your journey.

An indigenous ceremony on Lakehead campusJoin the Indigenous Student Services Centre for cultural teachings, smudging and various ceremonies such as heading to the Sweat Lodge or the LUNSA Powwow. The Elder-in-Residence program offers a wide range of supports for students like yourself, whether it be personal or group support.

Find all the information here

How can I connect with my peers?

Peer Mentorship Program

Connecting with peers is an important component of success when entering university.

In order for you to get connected here at Lakehead University, we have set up peer mentorship programs that will match you up with someone you can connect with.

Lakehead University International (LUI)

Lakehead University’s Global Ambassador Program is the ultimate opportunity for students to engage, connect and collaborate with their peers on campus, in the community and globally

If you are interested in being paired up with a Peer Mentor... sign up here!

Indigenous Student Services Centre

Our Indigenous Student Services Centre has a Peer Mentor program to help support you in your transition to university by familiarizing you with the campus and its many processes. If you would like to learn more click here, visit UC-1007 or email

Will there be cultural events and celebrations?

Celebrating Culture


LUSU is here to help you enjoy and experience the abundance of culture found on our Lakehead University campuses.

Every year, LUSU's Multicultural Centre hosts Cultural Day, a celebration of Lakehead’s diverse international community that includes performances, music, and food from all around the world. In Orillia, the Lakehead University Multicultural Association runs events throughout the year highlighting food, arts and crafts from our international community. LUSU is proud to provide support to student and club-run cultural events throughout the year to celebrate and support our local and international community. Events include LUISA’s Bollywood Night, AFCASA’s Black History Month events, the LUNSA Pow-wow, and much more.

Lakehead University International (LUI)

Lakehead University International is known for putting on exciting International Days at the University to help celebrate Lakehead's diverse population of students. International Days include a fair in the Agora, traditional dancing, international films and more.

Follow them on social media to get to know all the events they have @Lakeheadintllife (Instagram)

Indigenous Student Services Centre

Our Indigenous Student Services Centre puts on various events such as four seasonal feasts, traditional craft sessions and Miijim Noongom (student potlucks). All these events are a great way to get involved and be immersed in culture.

Follow them on social media to get to know all the event they have @Lakeheadindigenous (Instagram)

Culturally-based Clubs

Connect and represent your culture on campus!

If you want to represent your culture, country or region of origin on campus and connect with students who share your experiences, LUSU has a club for you to join or create!

We can help you book events to engage with the rest of the Lakehead community and connect with and support your fellow students. Go check the clubs at


Spiritual Wellbeing

Where can I practice my spirituality and find spiritual supports? 

Places of Worship

There are many places for you to find spiritual refreshment and connection both on and off campus.

Whether you are looking for something close to home, or a place that fits your beliefs and practices, be sure to check out the resources listed below to find spiritual communities, religious organizations, and sacred spaces.

Thunder Bay

On Campus:

LUSU Prayer Room, LUSU Clubs & Campus Spaces:

  1. Collective
  2. Lakehead Catholic Club
  3. Lakehead Iranian Cultural Association
  4. Lakehead University Christian Fellowship
  5. Lakehead University Native Students Association
  6. Lakehead University Sikh Students Association
  7. Lakehead Sweatlodge
Off Campus

Close to Campus:

Other Religious Organizations:

Additional Resources:

These websites have a list of almost all religious institutions in the city, you’ll find the one for you: 


Whether you are looking for something close to home, or a place that fits your beliefs and practices, be sure to check out the resources listed below to find spiritual communities, religious organizations, and sacred spaces.

Close to Campus (within 5 km):

Additional Places of Worship:

Barrie (Within 5km of Georgian College)

All Additional Places of Worship are accessible here

Natural Surroundings

Both of our campuses are within close proximity to beautiful natural spaces. These spaces provide the perfect backdrop for those of us seeking to connect spiritually with our natural environment.

Why should I practice mindfulness meditation? 

Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is a practice that teaches you to slow your breathing and racing thoughts and lets you calm your mind and body.

Benefits of practicing mindfulness meditation

There are many benefits to practicing mindfulness meditation. Here are just a few...

  • Improves sleep
  • Lowers your stress levels
  • Helps you become fully engaged in activities
  • and much more! Read about it here

Practice meditation on-campus

Student Health and Wellness is happy to offer weekly counsellor-led mindful meditation sessions. Check out our schedule at the webpage here