In a year of unprecedented stress, UNB Counselling Services is working to offer a variety of services to students.
April Kennedy has worked with UNB Counselling Services for over twelve years, first as a Counsellor and recently taking on the role of Director. Kennedy works to manage the operation of the center while providing support to the staff and interns. As well, she provides counselling and consultation for students, including group therapy groups.
Kennedy explained that Counselling Services provides both individual and group counselling, in addition to workshops, mental health training, crisis response, and online mental health services.
“Two examples of groups that are currently running are ‘Beyond Breathing’ which is a mindfulness group,” she explained, “and ‘Trailblazers’ which is a wellness and therapy group focused on the particular experiences of first [generation] students.”
Matt MacLean, Mental Health Strategist with Counselling Services, explained that they also provide support through the Peer Support Centre and multiple Graduate Student Community Groups.
“These programs provide peer-based support by trained and monitored UNB Students,” explained MacLean, adding that Counselling services operate in various outreach activities as well. “As a part of UNBSU Winter-ish Carnival Week, the Peer Support Centre and Counselling Services [held] two winter wellness walks through Odell.”
Currently, all services are being offered through phone or video sessions, to ensure safe delivery to those in, and out, of the province.
MacLean explained, to help individuals who are struggling with their mental health, it is best to offer a non-judgmental safe space.
“Ask them what they need or how you can help,” explained MacLean. “Not everyone will want suggestions or help accessing resources, and some may just want an opportunity to share their experience with a friendly ear, and the easiest way to know what they want is to ask!”
MacLean highlighted Jack.org as a great resource for learning how to communicate to someone that you are concerned for, which can be difficult.
Outside of Counselling Services, Kennedy advised that students can reach out to provincial services, non-profit agencies, or private mental health services through their insurance.
Counselling Services has worked to increase accessibility through minimizing wait times and disposing of their waitlist and is available to facilitate access to intensive care where possible.
“We continually work together with partners across campus to build awareness and want all students to know we are here,” Kennedy explained.
If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please contact one of the following support services:
- CHIMO Helpline at (506) 450-HELP(4357) or 1-800-667-5005
- Crisis Services Canada at 1-833-456-4566 (or text 45645) – Canada suicide prevention service available 24/7/365
- Fredericton Mobile Crisis Services at (506) 453-2132 – They provide crisis intervention services in the community environment which are available Mon-Fri from 4:30 p.m. to Midnight and Sat-Sun from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.