Wellness advice

Adapted from the FAQ constructed by Professor Laura Nilson, Associate Dean (Graduate Education), Faculty of Science.


Q: I live alone and my family is in another city/country. I feel overwhelmed and scared, and worried about being isolated by myself. What do I do?

A: In periods of anxiety like this, self-care is really important in managing stress. Getting some (socially-distanced) exercise, participating in (socially-distanced) activities you enjoy, and reaching out (virtually) to your network of friends and colleagues can help.

If you find yourself struggling and you need more help, Keep.meSAFE, a mental health counselling service offered to students in partnership with SSMU and PGSS, provides 24/7 access to licensed counsellors through telephone and mobile chat in more than 60 languages. To access this service, download the MySSP app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.


Q: I am feeling isolated from my colleagues, friends, family and peers, and am looking for ways to connect remotely. What can I do?

A: There are many free and trial services available to you. The maximum number of users for the following apps are:

  • Whatsapp ‑ 4,
  • Facetime ‑ 32,
  • Google Duo ‑ 8,
  • Google Hangouts ‑ 10,
  • Skype ‑ 50,
  • Zoom ‑ 100 (40 min of free access). 

Other options are hosting a Netflix watch party (https://www.netflixparty.com/), and if you are looking for additional free streaming services, CBC has a free service to stream both Canadian and International (mostly UK) content (https://gem.cbc.ca/).


Q: This experience has been challenging for my mental health and I would like some support. Where can I turn?

A: First off, know you are not alone! Although McGill’s Wellness Hub is currently closed, many online and phone resources are available to support you. 

  • Maple: 24/7 online virtual health service connecting you to a Canadian doctor, covered under the international student insurance (Blue Cross Insurance)
  • Keep.meSAFE: 24/7/365 e-mental health service: Free for all students at McGill. Download the MySSP app from the Apple App Store or Google Play on your mobile device and set up your profile prior to usage.
  • McGill Nightline: 514-398-6246, operates 6:00pm – 3:00 am, 7 days a week
  • Suicide Action Montreal Hotline: 1-866-277-3553
  • Centre d’intervention de crise Tracom: 514-483-3033
  • Therapist-Assisted Online: Interactive online program offering coping tools and skill-building exercises for mental health. Sign up with McGill as your institution.
  • Empower Me: 1-844-741-6389.  Covered for all PGSS members.

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