Frequently Asked Questions

You've got questions about the Hub? We've got answers.

If you have a question that hasn't been answered, wellness.hub [at] (subject: Wellness%20Hub%20FAQ%20Question) (send us a message) and we'll be happy to answer it. 

General FAQs

Question Answer
What is the Hub? Located in the Brown Student Services Building at 1070 Dr Penfield Ave and on Macdonald campus in Saint-Anne-de-Bellevue, the Student Wellness Hub is our student’s place to go for his/her/their holistic health and wellness needs. It provides access to physical and mental health services, as well as health promotion and peer support programs. With a holistic vision of health and well-being and a collaborative care model approach, services are integrated and streamlined to allow students to access care quickly and conveniently. Our services and programming are geared toward helping students navigate the wide range of challenges that arise over the course of their academic careers at McGill. The Student Wellness Hub team aims to empower students to be better informed and take charge of their well-being journey.
Are there any special considerations for international students? In Canada, healthcare services are regulated by the provincial government. Students from outside of Quebec - including international students - will usually need to pay out-of-pocket for any medical services received off-campus and file a claim for reimbursement to their insurance provider. If you wish to open a file in a private clinic off-campus, there is often a one-time fee that is not covered by most insurance providers
Do I pay for any service I receive? There are associated fees at the Hub, including cancelling an appointment without adequate notice, as well as requests for documentation and other administrative tasks. See the full list of fees for services at the Hub. For more information regarding your insurance coverage as it links to fees, please consult our insurance section.
I am experiencing a life crisis (e.g. death of a loved one, the loss of my home, or a recent assault) - whom should I contact? In these situations, it’s important to have as many campus resources as possible mobilized to support you. Please contact the Office of the Dean of Students. They can coordinate a response with clinicians as well as other campus resources that would be appropriate. If you are experiencing a crisis, please consult our resources for Urgent Care to get help.
How do I provide feedback on a Hub service or offering? You can give feedback online for any service that you've received at the Hub. All feedback is welcome and confidential.
What kind of training do graduate students doing their field placements for counselling have? Each intern counsellor is closely supervised by a member of the clinical staff and has or is completing a graduate degree in counselling, psychology, social work or a related field. 

Healthy Living Annex FAQs

Question Answer
What is the Healthy Living Annex (HLA)? The Healthy Living Annex (HLA) is the health promotion arm of the Student Wellness Hub and a space where you can learn more about prevention and early intervention initiatives. You can also talk to a Hub Peer Supporter, a trained student-peer, who can share resources and guide you as you navigate caring for your well-being.
What is prevention and early intervention? Preventative strategies promote mental health and prevent some mental health concerns. The same prevention strategies are effective for treating or alleviating some mental health challenges. We focus on early intervention because we know our students lead active and busy lives, and it can be tempting to put off asking for help. We want to empower our students to learn how to manage and address their challenges before they escalate into crisis situations that create additional barriers to their academic success.
What are some activities offered by the Healthy Living Annex (HLA)? At the HLA, you will find access to the Art HiveAnimal Therapy, and other peer-led workshops and spaces. Peer support is also an important aspect of health promotion and early intervention. These initiatives and spaces can sometimes be enough for a student who wants to care for their well-being. They can also work as a complement to a student seeking clinical services. We are here to help!

Clinical FAQs

Question Answer
What's the difference between a counsellor, psychiatrist, mental health professional and clinician?

Clinician is an umbrella term used to refer to all of the professionals you might see at the Hub: counsellors, psychiatrists, Local Wellness Advisors, Access Advisors, doctors, etc.

mental health professional is an umbrella term used to refer to both counsellors and psychiatrists, who specialize and have training in treating mental health issues.

counsellor is a particular kind of professional. At McGill, you can see them for short-term treatment for a mental health issue. They'll develop a wellness plan with you and may decide that one-on-one therapy is the best approach. 

psychiatrist is a mental health professional with a medical degree whose main form of treatment is usually medication for more severe mental health conditions. They require a referral from a doctor or McGill counsellor.

What are the benefits of meeting with a mental health professional? Meeting with a mental health professional is an opportunity for individuals to discuss their concerns and issues in a safer and more confidential atmosphere with an interested and objective professional. A one-on-one style session might work best for some, while others might benefit most from group environments. The possibilities are wide-ranging and a mental health professional at the Hub can guide you in the process of finding the most beneficial route for you. Not everyone benefits from meeting with a mental health professional, but thousands of students have found it helpful in dealing with the academic, personal, and social challenges of university life.
Why do students come to see a mental health professional?

Concerns are wide-ranging and cover everything you can experience as a student (and person). Students discuss personal issues like self-esteem, depression, anxiety, anger, grief, sexuality, relationships, family, etc. They also discuss academic issues such as exam anxiety, procrastination, motivation and study skills, or career concerns related to vocational interests and decision making.

What's the first session with a counsellor like?

At your first appointment, you'll meet with your primary clinician, who will try to understand the challenges that you are facing, and together you'll develop a personalized wellness plan best suited to your needs.

If clinically appropriate, you may receive short-term therapy with the goal of helping you better cope with the challenges you are experiencing. Your personalized wellness plan might otherwise involve group therapy, peer support, a referral to a psychiatrist, etc.

This clinician will be the point of contact for follow-ups around your wellness plan. If you require or prefer long-term support, your clinician can refer you to resources in the community.

How many sessions will I have with my clinician?

The frequency and number of sessions is dependent on several factors, such as the nature of the difficulty and your readiness for change.  You can discuss this with your primary clinician when you create your wellness plan, which may be re-evaluated and changed if needed.

McGill mental health professionals' mandate is to offer short term support, which could range from one session to ten or more, depending on the circumstances.  If you require or prefer long-term support, they can help connect you with resources in the community.

Why is a referral needed to see a psychiatrist? Many classes of psychiatric symptoms can also be caused by physical health conditions (e.g. hypothyroidism can cause depressive symptoms) and can be ruled out by a doctor.
Is McGill hiring more doctors? Yes, the Student Wellness Hub continually recruits additional doctors. 
A student stands at the check-in counter at the Student Wellness Hub

As a McGill student, you must be registered for insurance. Your health insurance will support you in accessing the mental and physical health care you need while studying here.

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