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Student survival guide for challenging times

Check out mental health, financial and housing support at Ryerson
March 01, 2021

Being a student is never easy. Due to the global pandemic, you are facing additional and unique challenges every day. Please know that if you are struggling, you are not alone. We care about you, and we are here for you.

Ryerson offers a number of resources to support you with challenges you may encounter in your student experience. We have listed some of these supports below. Please familiarize yourself with these initiatives, and reach out to any of the following departments if you need support.  

Mental Health Support

Counselling services at the Centre for Student Development and Counselling are currently being offered remotely via telephone or video. 

All Ryerson students can access ongoing counselling support and 24/7 crisis support over phone or video chat with licensed counsellors at Keep.meSAFE using the My SSP app. The My SSP app is available on the Apple Store, external link, opens in new window, or Google Play, external link, opens in new window. Keep.meSAFE can also be accessed by dialing 1-844-451-9700.

For emergency medical or mental health response, please dial 911 or go to your local hospital. Alternatively, get help by calling one of the following local crisis lines.

Ryerson Safe House

The Ryerson Safe House provides free and confidential emotional support and assistance with respect to security, academic, financial and short-term housing concerns to Ryerson students who:

  • Are at immediate risk of physical, sexual or emotional abuse;
  • Are fleeing unsafe or intolerable living conditions; or
  • Have been made suddenly homeless as a result of compelling or extreme circumstance

To access the Ryerson Safe House, speak with a counsellor in the Centre for Student Development and Counselling.

Download the PDF fileRyerson Safe House Brochure.

Ryerson Emergency Bursary

Do you have a financial emergency? You may qualify for the Ryerson Emergency Bursary. Speak to a Financial Assistance Advisor via the ServiceHub before applying for a Ryerson Emergency Bursary. It is expected that you first apply for government financial aid (e.g. OSAP, U.S. student loans, or out-of-province funding) to ensure funding is maximized.

If you still have an unexpected financial emergency, the Student Financial Assistance office will help direct you to apply for a Ryerson Emergency Bursary through AwardSpring. A Ryerson Emergency Bursary is not guaranteed for each student that applies; bursary applications are assessed individually by looking at each student’s financial situation (budget form) and circumstances.

If you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, please review the COVID-19 supports website to find other financial aid opportunities for which you may qualify.

Sexual Violence Support and Education

If you have been affected by sexual violence, please know first that it is not your fault. You have access to supports from the Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education regardless if the sexual violence happened on-or-off campus, or if you were affected by sexual violence before you came to Ryerson. With your consent, the office can help you with: 

  • Academic considerations and workplace accommodations
  • Understanding the reporting options available to you
  • Navigating systems and resources within the university and the community
  • Safety planning
  • Referrals to counselling and medical services and self-care resources

Student Care

Student Care works with the Ryerson community to identify students in distress and offer holistic care and referrals to students who are navigating challenging personal, academic and/or financial issues. Students can contact the Office of Student Care at any point for:

  • Support and referrals for personal, academic and/or financial issues
  • Assistance in navigating Ryerson’s internal administrative systems
  • Help if they are leaving/returning studies due to a medical leave or hospitalization
  • Referrals for campus and/or community resources around mental health and crisis intervention/support

Academic Accommodation Support

Academic Accommodation Support (AAS) supports students with disabilities at Ryerson. They work with students to create and implement individualized academic accommodation plans so students can more fully participate in their studies. They work with any student enrolled at Ryerson who requires academic accommodation, regardless of program or course load. 

Office of the Ombudsperson

Students who have tried to resolve a problem by making use of the procedures available through the university, and believe that the decision-making process was unfair, can discuss their concern confidentially with the Ombudsperson’s Office. As an impartial office, the Ombudsperson considers the perspective of both the student and the university in all cases brought to its attention and is independent of the university, administrative structures and student government. In appropriate circumstances, based on an objective review, the Ombudsperson can recommend changes in academic or administrative processes.