We all know how important it is to have proper mental and physical health. Academia can be stressful and tiring at times in a way that impacts not only our health but also our self-esteem and self-confidence. Stress disorders are only one component of the many consequences we may face when ignoring our mental health and well-being. Apart from academics, there are other issues that some of us face in our everyday lives. These include family-related issues, job-related stress, relationship problems, and loneliness.

With that being said, UTM students have access to all kinds of services for the betterment of their physical and mental health. These services range from counselling sessions to medical care, and can be found at the Health & Counselling Centre (HCC) right here on campus.

Starting with personal counselling sessions, which are provided by HCC clinicians who are experts in psychiatry and counselling, these sessions allow students to talk through their problems such as low self-esteem, transitioning to university, depression, family and/or relationship conflicts, exam anxiety, and other emotional or social concerns that they face in their everyday lives. The HCC not only provides students with therapy services or counselling sessions, but also provides referrals that assist students in accessing resources that will help them in the long-term.

Counselling sessions are also offered in group settings, all you have to do is to choose the kind of counselling sessions you want to attend when you register online (on the HCC website). These group sessions are more like workshops that educate and motivate you to improve your personal well-being and personality. These workshops happen at specific times, depending on the group session, and last for four weeks.

In addition, there are events that the HCC organizes for the benefit of all students at UTM, such as mindfulness meditation. Through meditation, students can learn how to stay calm under pressure and clear their minds.

Moving on to the nutritional counselling, the HCC provides counselling about nutrition and eating habits for students who want to improve their eating habits to be fit, prevent obesity, or maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The services provided by the dietician and nutritional counsellors range from education on healthy eating habits and healthy foods to special diets for students with health conditions or food allergies. The dietician also helps build diet plans for vegans and vegetarians.

Finally, the HCC has experienced and well-renowned staff of medical doctors and nurses who provide counselling and medical advice for many health issues such as first aid of injuries, allergies, immunizations, chronic illnesses, and cold or flu, just to name a few.

The costs for most services or appointments are covered by the OHIP (for Ontario students) or the UHIP (for international students). Further information can be found on the HCC’s website at www.utoronto.ca/health.

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