Counselling services

At Student Health and Wellness, we have lots of resources available to support your mental health. There are many different types of support available because one size doesn't fit all. Check out our stepped care model, it will help you determine the type of support that is right for you. You can also refer to WellU and Staying Healthy for more information on health and wellness topics.


Stepped Care

stepped care logoWe 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 model to see where you fit.


Individual Counselling

Counselling at Student Health and Wellness is a free, short-term, client-centred, non-judgmental service. Licensed/registered, professionally trained counsellors provide one-to-one counselling to students. 

Booking an appointment is easy. 

Counselling Staff

All of our counsellors are trained, experienced staff that are aware of the unique issues and/or challenges that may affect post-secondary students. Please visit the Meet Our Team page to learn more about the Student Health and Wellness Counsellors.

Thunder Bay

Counselling is provided by in-house counsellors.


Catholic Family Services of Simcoe County (CFSSC) is an accredited, registered charity offering inclusive, affordable, and accessible counselling, mental-health education, and mental-wellness programming. In 2019, CFSSC celebrated its 40th anniversary.

CFSSC is a proud member agency of Family Service Ontario. CFSSC is among the 42 provincial non-profits that, together, employs 700+ registered, professional therapist/counsellors to serve more than 250,000 Ontarians each year. Of those, 58% identify as low-income and may not have access to other mental-health supports.

Our in-person and online clinics, programs and workshops are available to anyone living or working in Simcoe County and Muskoka regardless of demographic identity, diagnoses, or the ability to pay. Together, our registered master's-level psychotherapists and social workers, and certified facilitators served more than 6,000 individuals in 2021, with an average client-satisfaction rate that exceeds 90% across all programs.

Mission Statement and Service Philosophy

In the spirit of hope and compassion, CFSSC together with community partners is committed to providing professional counselling, education, and advocacy to heal and strengthen family and individual life.

At CFSSC, we are committed to providing professional services to reduce emotional distress, enhance personal well-being and strengthen relationships.

We recognize the unique needs and preferences of clients and work with them to develop a service plan based on consultation and best practice.

Clients have the right to make decisions about the service options presented and refuse or discontinue service programs at any time. 

Programs are available to everyone living or working in Simcoe County and the District of Muskoka.

We recognize the importance of the family context and strive to be inclusive of persons of all abilities, religions, cultures, sexual orientation or gender identity. 


CFSSC works in collaboration across sectors in our jurisdiction and is a lead agency in several provincial-wide partnerships designed to improve access to professional and appropriate mental health services to underserved and under-resourced communities and populations. Our team sits at numerous planning tables and is a key member of regional social-service networks to ensure that we are not planning in isolation and that we can maximize opportunities for collaboration and partnership whenever possible. Our integration within the social fabric of our local communities, and recognized innovative approach to community building, allows us to provide warm referrals and wrap-around services to clients seeking assistance in moving their lives forward in a healthier way. For more information about our partners, please see our 2021 Annual Report.

We hire highly qualified clinicians to undertake the therapeutic counselling activities. We provide clinical supervision to those clinicians ensuring the use of best practice. We collect outcome measures to ensure that our programs and services are having a desired effect on our clients. We will advocate on behalf of individual clients with various other service providers to ensure that our clients have timely access to needed supports and resources. Systemically we are involved in anti-poverty initiatives.


CFSSC is committed to inclusivity and strives to be an ally to marginalized individuals, families, and communities. To this end, we provide our staff with ongoing social-awareness training that includes (but is not limited to):

  • Indigenous Cultural Competency & Cultural Safety (delivered by Barrie Area Native Advisory Circle, Indigenous Health Centre, and San’yas)
  • #ITSTARTS campaign champion and ambassador training to reduce racism and discrimination (delivered by the County of Simcoe and Making Changes)
  • Bridges out of Poverty for individuals and organizations working with individuals, couples, families, and communities experiencing poverty (CFSSC is now qualified to facilitate this training)
  • 2S-LGBTQ+ Workplace Training & Inclusion program Safer Spaces (delivered by Gilbert Center for Social and Support Services, which has recently re-designated CFSSC as a Safer Space).

We thank our funders, donors, and supporters for their support in ensuring our ability to serve the residents and employees of Simcoe County and Muskoka. Most recently, our funders include:

  • Canada’s New Horizons Program
  • Canada’s Summer Job Program
  • Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General
  • Ontario’s Ministry of Health
  • Catholic Charities and ShareLife
  • Ontario Trillium Fund
  • United Way Simcoe County
  • Barrie Community Foundation
  • Community Foundation of Orillia and Area
  • Huronia Community Foundation
  • Innisfil Community Foundation
  • Muskoka Community Foundation

Please see our full list of recent funders in our 2021 Annual Report.

For more information, please visit our website or send us an email.

What to Expect

Counselling is an active process where you and your counsellor work together to find ways to resolve issues and/or address your concerns. To get the most out of your sessions:

  • Come prepared with issues to discuss with your counsellor; set a specific counselling goal -- often times people find that one session is extremely beneficial in beginning to make changes and work toward goals.  When you arrive for your first appointment, you will be asked to complete an intake form (please come 10 minutes early to allow time for this).
  • Actively work on counselling goals between sessions.

When there is a need for follow up, counsellors work with their client to determine the best course of action -- this may include recommending that they continue to use same-day appointments as needed (“one-at-a-time” therapy), developing a plan for on-going therapy sessions or referral to specialized services.


During the first counselling appointment, you will be given information about confidentiality and your counsellor will review this with you. Confidentiality is a legal obligation and priority of Student Health and Wellness. Information is not released outside the Student Wellness team without permission from you. See the policy information. There are however specific circumstances, as identified by law, where a health professional is required to disclose certain information. 

A counsellor will break confidentiality: ​

  • If you are at immediate risk to harm yourself
  • If you intend to harm another person
  • If you or your counsellor has a strong reason to think that another individual may be at risk of harm based on information that you provided in your session
  • If you have a complaint about a regulated health professional (e.g., doctor, nurse, psychologist, chiropractor, massage therapist...) with respect to their inappropriate sexual behaviour towards you, and you provide us with that individual’s name, we are required to report this complaint to their regulatory body
  • If you are involved in a court case and the judge thinks that counselling is relevant to the case, your file might be subpoenaed.
  • If there is a reasonable suspicion that a child (under 16 years of age) is at risk of emotional and/or physical neglect or emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse. We are required by law to report this to the Children’s Aid Society immediately

Let your counsellor know if you require more clarification regarding the confidentiality or privacy of your information.

Referrals and Resources

You can learn more about the variety of campus and community resources and services available to you by meeting with one of our counsellors; they may be able to assist you with the referral process if required. A list of resources is also available on our Resources page.

In Case of Emergency or Student Health and Wellness Closure

If You or Someone You Know is in Crisis

We encourage students to access the following resources should they require them:

  • The confidential and free post-secondary student helpline, Good2Talk, that students can call for professional support 24/7/365. Their toll-free number is 1-866-925-5454
  • Crisis Response Services is a 24/7 crisis line staffed by Canadian Mental Health Association
    • Thunder Bay- 807-346-8282
    • Orillia- 705-728-5044
  • Suicide Hotlines Across the World 
  • In case of an emergency, call 911.
    • For Thunder Bay Campus security, call 807-343-8911.
    • For Orillia Campus Security, call 705-330-4008 ext. 2009 
  • All students who are enrolled in LUSU’s extended health care plan (i.e. did not opt-out) have access to counselling through WeConnect. 
  • Access is available by phone, email, chat, SMS, Snapclarity App
  • Select the “WeConnect SAP” Tile from the WeSpeakStudent homepage.
    • Sign up using your email and institution code (below) and create a unique username and password. You now have access to the WeConnect Student Assistance Program.
    • Code: lakeheadu
  • Call/text 1-888-377-0002; or
  • Download the iConnectYou mobile app, available on Google play or Apple iTunes to access services.
National Programs
  • Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
  • Crisis Service Canada
  • Wellness Together Canada provides free online resources, tools, apps and connections to trained volunteers and qualified mental health professionals when needed
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
  • First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line: 1-855-242-3310
    Service is available in Cree, Ojibway, Inuktitut, English and French.
  • Naseeha1-866-627-3342
    Youth Peer to peer support helpline and text line for Muslim and non-Muslim youth in the USA and Canada. Lines are open from 9AM to 6PM PST.
Ontario Programs

Ontario’s 24/7 helpline for post-secondary students. Call 1 866 925 5454, text GOOD2TALKON to 686868, or chat via Facebook messenger

ConnexOntario provides free and confidential health services information for people experiencing problems with alcohol and drugs, mental illness and/or gambling. We are funded by the Government of Ontario. Our system navigation and information service is live answer 24/7, confidential, and free.

  • BounceBack

BounceBack is a free skill-building program managed by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). It is designed to help adults and youth 15+ manage low mood, mild to moderate depression and anxiety, stress or worry. Delivered over the phone with a coach and through online videos, you will get access to tools that will support you on your path to mental wellness. To submit an online referral, go to, or access the online videos at

A global online peer to peer support community for student, available 24/7 anywhere in the world

Offers immediate help to all Indigenous peoples across Canada, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Phone line or online chat.

Out of Jurisdiction Supports
  • Resources across Canada
  • iCALL-iCALL endeavours to provide professional and free counselling through technology-assisted mediums such as telephone, email and chat to anyone in need of emotional support, irrespective of age, gender, sexual orientation or race, and transcending geographical distances while ensuring confidentiality.
  • Crisis Text Line- Crisis text lines for US and Canada, Ireland and UK
  • Child Helpline International- a network of helplines for children and youth in more than 140 countries