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Staying In and Staying Well During COVID-19

We are experiencing a global health event and during this time, it is not uncommon for people to experience: anxiety, worry, fear and sadness; tearfulness and/or loss of interest in enjoyable activities; hopelessness, stress, or overwhelm; and difficulty concentrating and/or sleeping. These are challenging times but there are healthy ways to cope and manage our wellbeing.

It is helpful to intentionally take moments to focus on what feels good, safe and stable.

Seek medical advice if you are not feeling well and may be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms: call Telehealth Ontario for assistance 1-866-797-0000.

It's normal to feel stressed, anxious, upset in situations that are uncertain, so allow yourself to notice and express what you’re feeling.


  • Sharing how you feel with others 
  • Writing in a journal
  • Doing something creative

During these times, having a healthy routine will have a positive impact on your mood, thoughts, and feelings.


  • Sticking to regular mealtimes
  • Starting your day at the same time as normal
  • Structuring your day so you can stay on top of your academic requirements

Take things/tasks one step or day at a time to reduce overwhelm and increase a sense of control and capacity to cope in difficult times.


  • Eating healthy meals and snacks
  • Exercise regularly 
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Avoid alcohol and other drugs

Connecting with friends and family through phone calls, video chats or social media and sharing in this experience goes a long way to reduce feelings of isolation. When we talk about our thoughts and feelings, it helps us find ways to cope with stressful situations.


  • Maintaining your relationship with others using technology
  • Share your concerns about how you are feeling with a friend or family member
  • Setting up a regular group call with your friends

Increase positive, recharging, and grounding activities and habits (e.g. hobbies, self-care, reading, art making, mindfulness, etc.). Regular breaks boost your productivity and mood.


  • Engaging in activities you enjoy
  • Practice meditation
  • Read a book, watch a movie or listen to your favorite music
  • Making time to unwind

Use credible sources to receive information about the situation. Don't spend all your time focusing on the pandemic as continuous reading or listening to media coverage can unnecessarily intensify agitation, worry, and stress.


  • Checking once a day for regular updates from official sources like Toronto Public Health, Health Canada, and CBC.
  • Avoid relying on social media for news - use those tools for connection, joy, and storytelling instead. news from social media

Medical and counselling support continues to be available through Ryerson University:

The counselling centre is available to current clients in virtual formats:

  • The Centre for Student Development and Counselling (CSDC) is physically closed, but has moved to a virtual support system for current clients. Current clients of the CSDC will have already received a message from their counsellor about services and resource options, and can continue to contact their counsellor directly by email.
  • Students can still contact the CSDC at 416-979-5195 or, as messages are being monitored regularly during business hours, and a receptionist will respond as soon as possible.
  • The CSDC will be contacting students on the waitlist over the next 1-2 weeks to discuss next steps and initiate counselling where indicated.

For the duration of the COVID-19 situation and resulting university closures, Ryerson has partnered with Keep.meSAFE to provide all students with 24/7 mobile access to licensed counsellors via the My SSP app.

  • Keep.meSAFE is a mental health counselling service that specializes in student mental health support and provides 24/7 access to licensed counsellors through telephone and mobile chat. Mental health care can be provided in over 60 languages and students can access the service from outside of Canada too.
  • Students can download the My SSP app on their phone’s app store: Apple Store, external link; Google Play, external link. Keep.meSAFE can also be accessed with a phone call by dialing 1-844-451-9700.
  • Current clients of the CSDC can continue to work with their current counsellor and can continue to be in touch with them directly over email.

Ryerson also recommends the following online and peer-to-peer counselling services:

If you are experiencing an emergency, call 911 or visit your local hospital emergency room. 

See the full list of updates from the Medical Centre, CSDC, and Academic Accommodations Support.