Counselling Forms & Transfer of Records
You can book your initial appointment with a counsellor by calling 905-525-9140 x 27700. Together you will be able to explore support options and decide on your pathways to receive support (see Pathways to Care in the next tab). Follow up appointment time may vary.
*Please complete these forms after you have booked your appointment.*
Students accessing counselling for the first time must complete and submit the Patient Agreement Intake Form and the Counselling Intake Form. The Patient Agreement Form should be completed once per year. If you are an international student, you can also find the SunLife claim form below, which must be submitted once per year.
Information Box Group
TRANSFER OF MEDICAL & COUNSELLING RECORDS:
You may submit a Release of Patient Information request if you would like to obtain a copy of your records for yourself, or transfer your records to another entity.
- Hand-draw signatures are required.
- Typed signatures will not be accepted.
- A witness signature (a signature from someone who witnessed you sign the document) is required. Please inform Student Wellness Centre staff if you have difficulty obtaining a witness signature.
Allow up to four weeks for your request to be processed.
- The transfer of records is considered an uninsured service.
- The patient is responsible for the $30.00 fee incurred for the transfer of an entire medical or counselling record.
- The $30.00 fee may be waived if only a select few documents are requested (e.g., a single laboratory report only, vaccine record only, records from a single specific issue only).
- Payment can be made by cheque or through Mosaic.
- An invoice with payment instructions will be mailed to the patient’s address provided on the Release of Information request form.
If it is requested that records be transferred by email, please acknowledge the risks entailed with exchanging personal information by email, as outlined in the Patient Agreement.
If you would like your records transferred to a legal professional, the request must come directly from the law office that you are working with.
The SWC is excited to announce that we have made some recent improvements to our services to help ensure timely access to the pathway that best meets your needs. These changes come into effect at the start of the fall term.
Short-Term Counselling (Indigo Path)
- Let’s focus on you! We at the SWC have revamped our model to improve access. We are implementing an evidence-based brief model to support your needs.
- Appointments will focus on supporting your most immediate needs.
- Wait times between counselling sessions may fluctuate depending on demand.
Walk-In Clinic (Orange Path)
- We have heard you! We understand quick access to counselling has been a challenge. As a result, we have implemented a Walk-in Clinic where you can access:
- Same Day Single Session: These appointments are available for students in need of immediate/crisis services and/or for students who are not currently connected with a counsellor.
- Navigation Appointments: These appointments will determine what is the most appropriate path for you within our pathways to care model. (Please note that navigation appointments can also be pre-booked by calling 905-525-9140 ext. 27700)
- Walk-in Clinic appointments are available daily on a ‘first come first serve’ basis
- Monday-Wednesday, check-in begins at 12:30pm and ends at 3pm.
- Thursday – Friday check-in starts at 1:30pm and ends at 3pm
Pathways to Care
Pathways to Care was developed to maximize support and effectiveness of decisions used to direct students to various therapy and counselling resources, since not every student entering a consultation appointment may need to see a counsellor or to enter into long-term counselling.
There are a lot of resources available to students including online, or on or off-campus resources. Pathways to Care is here to help find the best fit for you.
Counsellors will sensitively listen and then, lay out a series of options that include online information; interactive online modules such as WellTrack; referrals to the Student Assistance Program; daily one-hour stress reduction seminars; psychoeducational groups; therapy groups; all the way to individual counselling sessions and medical appointments, as well as referrals to community and other resources.
Which of these options you end up pursuing is decided by you and a professional during the consultation appointment.
Information Box Group
- Initial contact (one-on-one)
- Scheduling an appointment
- Walk in appointments
- Pre-booked consultation appointment
- Short-term model
- Needs assessment
Psychoeducational Groups & Psychotherapy Groups
- Therapist assisted
- Includes workshops
- Skill building with DBT, CBT, ACT, & Mindfulness
- Therapy group topics include Trauma, Sleep, Procrastination (& more!)
Short Term Counselling
- Individual therapy
- 1-6 sessions and referral to community care if needed
- Stabilization and support
- Referral to other resources
- Referral to physician for additional supports
- CBT Practitioners
At first, the idea of participating in a larger program might seem intimidating. But wellness skills programs, in which one or more counsellors lead a weekly group of 5 to 15 people, can be very beneficial. In fact, participants are often surprised by how rewarding their experience can be.
In addition to strengthening your relationships skills, reducing isolation and helping you find your voice, these programs are also especially valuable for individuals dealing with depression, social anxiety and life transitions. It is an opportunity to learn and develop skills to manage anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and intense emotions.
- Helping you realize you’re not alone.
- Facilitating the giving and receiving of support.
- Helping you find your “voice.”
- Helping you relate to others (and yourself) in healthier ways.
- Providing a safety net.
All SWC groups are free and confidential. Email the facilitator to find out the start date of the program. Some programs are offered more than once in the term, and this is indicated by the number of sessions. You will be expected to fill out an intake form and attend sessions as indicated by the facilitator. Wellness skills programs often have recommended readings or between sessions activities. Any questions can be directed to the facilitator. Repeat attendance is welcomed!
Counselling is a way of helping people solve their own emotional, personal, or interpersonal problems. Counselling provides a rare opportunity to be listened to without being judged, and without being told what to do or what is “good for you”. It usually involves the exploration of problems in an environment that is both supportive and objective. Counselling and psychotherapy involve the development of new skills and approaches to manage difficult life situations. Strategies are often suggested for managing and altering patterns of upsetting thoughts, feelings and behaviour. It also may involve the identification of alternative courses of action that might solve a problem. The implications of those alternatives are typically explored, and perspective is usually gained on the problem and its effects.
Counselling is not giving advice or solving your problems for you. It is understandable that one might wish that another person could solve their problem(s), but no one can presume to know with sufficient certainty what is best for another person. This is especially true when considering difficult, complex, or emotionally troubling situations.
Nobody knows! To be more accurate, nobody knows in advance. Each year we talk with hundreds of McMaster students who encounter unforeseen problems that interfere with their academic performance and/or emotional well-being. University students are capable, talented, intelligent and resilient people, but they are not immune to pressure. In fact, the academic stress caused by the challenge and competition that characterize most university programs can magnify other difficulties that students experience, and can stir up any emotional vulnerabilities they may already have – sometimes even if they have already dealt with them in the past.
There are numerous concerns for which students seek counselling. These include but are not limited to: Alcohol and drug problems, anger, anxiety, assertiveness, bereavement, body image, childhood physical, emotional or sexual abuse, depression, family problems, homesickness, identity, loneliness, loss of motivation, mental health issues, pain, problems with food or body image, procrastination, relationship problems, low self-esteem, sexual assault, sexuality, and test anxiety.
Supporting educational goals and the mental health and wellness of our students is the primary focus of the Student Wellness Centre at McMaster University. According to Statistics Canada, teenagers and young adults aged 15-24 experience the highest incidence of mental illness of any age group in Canada. Thus, comprehensive, strengths-based, client-centered and supportive programs are the focus of McMaster’s Mental Health and Wellness Team.
It is important for our students and health professionals to recognize that the school environment poses distinct challenges for students. With understanding and co-operation, the Student Wellness Centre’s team can work with students to help them reach their educational and life goals even if they are facing mental health concerns.
The role of the SWC Counselling area is to provide brief mental health counselling and related services to help McMaster students identify barriers, improve coping, and achieve personal goals.
What is treated through brief interventions at the SWC
Some examples of clinical issues that are likely to be addressed through brief interventions and support at the SWC:
- Academic related issues – (motivation, perfectionism, interpersonal communication, self- discipline, etc.)
- Mood and anxiety issues (depression, anxiety, self-esteem, social anxiety, self-destructive behaviours)
- Relationship issues (conflicts, communication, break-ups, assertiveness, etc.)
- Adjustment issues (dealing with transitions, new life circumstances, etc.)
- Grief and loss
- Trauma, sexual assault
- Eating disorder (not medically compromised)
- Substance use/abuse treatment (not clinically compromised)
Those whose needs cannot be accommodated within our treatment model will be referred to community resources for care. Such referrals might occur immediately following the consultation appointment, or they may occur after some treatment and further assessment of need has taken place.
Our services are available to eligible students (undergraduate and graduate students) whose concerns fall within our scope of practice. We cannot provide service to continuing education students, part-time students, or partners of students who are not themselves students, or students who have graduated and are no longer enrolled in classes.