Frequently Asked Questions
The services of the CSDC are available to all Ryerson full and part-time undergraduate and graduate students who are eligible to proceed in their program and not on academic leave. It should be noted that Continuing Education and Special Students have limited access to counselling.
Students come to speak with a counsellor for a wide range of concerns including anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties, past trauma, homesickness, family problems, loneliness, transition/adjustment issues, disordered eating, grief, career decisions, confusion about their direction in life, and unhappiness with their program of study. You do not have to be in crisis to seek counselling and most of our clients do not have a mental illness. In fact, counselling is not just about dealing with problems – it can also help you to gain self-knowledge and develop your potential.
When you call or drop into the Centre to make an appointment a staff member at the front desk will ask a few questions to get a sense of the nature and urgency of your concerns. If you wish greater privacy, you may be given a form to complete to share this information in writing. You will be booked for a “triage” appointment, typically within two weeks, at which time you will have an opportunity to talk to a counsellor. At this triage appointment the counsellor will listen in order to understand your needs and concerns, provide some immediate ideas to help you, and talk about next steps for receiving further support. If your concerns are related to an immediate risk to your safety you will be offered an appointment by the end of the day. Following your appointment the counsellor will discuss your options and associated wait times with you.
This is an initial appointment with a counsellor at our Centre. The purpose of this consultation is to give you an opportunity to talk more about your reasons for seeking counselling and what you hope to get out of the experience. This is also a chance for you to ask questions about what counselling might offer. If your concerns cannot be resolved in this one session the counsellor will suggest services that can best meet your needs and associated wait times. This may involve being referred to see one of the CSDC counsellors, recommended to one of our groups, and/or referred to a resource in the community.
Wait times are based on the issues you present and the expertise available at that time. Every effort will be made to see you as soon as possible. More rapid referrals to community care may be provided to those students who have ready access to financial resources or insurance coverage.
Normally counselling sessions start at 10 past the hour and are 50 minutes in length. If it is your first appointment we ask that you arrive 10 minutes early in order to complete some paperwork.
A group usually consists of four to 10 clients and one or two counsellor facilitators who meet at the same time weekly for 1 ½ to 2 hours around a shared concern. Groups typically take place over a four to 8 week period. Groups provide an opportunity to explore issues and receive encouragement, feedback and emotional support from other students struggling with similar problems. For detailed information about our group programs go to: (add link to group programs).
Counselling is free to Ryerson students who are eligible for our services.
The counsellors are trained registered mental health professionals and supervised graduate student interns with backgrounds in psychology, counselling or social work. If I use the services of the Centre for Student Development and Counselling will it go on my transcript? Will the counsellors tell my parents? Will it affect my graduate school or immigration application? The services offered at the CSDC are confidential and governed by applicable privacy legislation. For more information visit our policies page
Confidentiality means that neither the information you share with your counsellor nor the fact that you are using our services will be disclosed to anyone outside of the Centre including parents without your written consent. However there are situations such as if clients are a danger to themselves or others, or a child is being abused or neglected when counsellors are obligated by law and/or professional ethics to inform relevant third parties or authorities. Your counsellor will go over and answer any questions you have about our confidentiality policy at the beginning of your initial appointment. For more information visit our policies page
Our counsellors are from diverse backgrounds and trained in multicultural sensitivity; however we offer services in English. Our goal is to create a safe, supportive and welcoming environment for students of all races, ethnicities, languages, cultures, religions, ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, abilities, gender identities, sexual identities, and sexual orientations. If you would prefer to speak with a counsellor in your first language we will try to refer you to an appropriate resource in the community.
To book an appointment you can either call the CSDC at 416-979-5195 or drop by JOR 07C (lower ground, Jorgenson Hall).
We ask that you notify us at least 24 hours in advance if you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment so that other students waiting to be seen can be accommodated. A fee of $20.00 will be charged for each appointment not cancelled in advance. The Registrar's Office will be advised of outstanding charges, and as with unpaid library fines, your marks will be withheld pending payment. Urgent and compelling extenuating circumstances affecting your ability to provide the required notice may be considered at your counsellor’s discretion.
If you need to speak with someone right away one option is to call Good2Talk, a 24-hour confidential telephone support line for post secondary students at 1-866-925-5454. Visit good2talk.ca for further details. If you are experiencing an emotional crisis you can contact the Gerstein Centre Distress Line at 416-929-5200. If you require urgent attention you should go to the emergency unit of your local hospital. Click here for more information about what to do if you are in crisis.