The McGill Counselling Service provides one-on-one counselling to individuals dealing with a wide range of psychological and emotional issues and academic and vocational challenges. Trained and experienced in dealing with the unique difficulties encountered by university students, our professional staff work with each client to alleviate distress, promote self-understanding and develop effective solutions to the obstacles impeding their growth and success.
Counselling is available to all full- and part-time McGill students who have paid student services fees.
The Counselling Service operates within a short-term model, limiting the number of sessions per student to a maximum of 15 per year. Referral to other services within or outside the University may be made if individual concerns require further attention or specialized assistance.
The information shared in Counselling is strictly confidential, and is released only with the student's written permission or if required by law, as in the case of child abuse or the immediate threat of harm to self or others.
In addition to our regular counselling services we also offer vocational counselling and testing, crisis support, and the opportunity for students to participate in a number of groups and workshops each semester. Finally, we act as consultant and resource for parents, faculty and staff who have concerns about issues that may be affecting their loved ones or students.
Letters of Support
We are often asked if Counselling provides letters for students allowing them to get extensions on papers and defer their exams. The answer is that counsellors do write Letters of Support for students, but only within certain parameters. A student who has been involved in counselling prior to exams or deadlines may receive a letter from a counsellor outlining the circumstances that have contributed to their academic difficulties. While there are exceptions, letters are not normally written after the fact (i.e. a request for a letter after a deadline has been missed) if the counsellor has no prior knowledge of the circumstances leading up to the difficulty.
Whatever the case may be, letters from Counselling do not relieve students of their academic responsibilities. It is professors and deans who make decisions regarding course requirements and grades. The purpose of a Letter of Support is to assist professors and deans in understanding the psychological and emotional factors that may have interfered with a student's ability to complete assignments or prepare for exams.