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Updated on Tuesday, March 31

#20768

OMG: I waited 40 days for an appointment with counselling services. During this time I hit rock bottom, and told myself just to wait it out for my appointment. Well my appointment came, and my counselor was sick... and the next available appointment is in another 40 days.

29 comments

  1. I feel your pain op. I've had 5 family members and friends die in these last two terms, and I'm also on the waiting list. I can hardly do any work because of anxiety, but I suppose the university doesn't care too much about our mental health. It costs them too much money to care.

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    1. I'm so sorry you had to go through this. Is there anything that can be done about the state of counselling services? Petition? Protest?

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    2. @1a - 1 here. What can be done? The counselors are nice when you manage to get in, and any of them will tell you that they don't get enough attention from the University. The sad thing is that the students most affected by this are either anxious, depressed, or suffer from mental health issues that would otherwise allow us to take a stand. We almost need people to stand up for us, but no one really cares that much or has the time.

      Feds may be a good place to start. They ARE our student union after all.

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  2. I've had the same experience. I had to wait a month to see a counselor and I felt my life rapidly deteriorate in that time. The day before I was to finally speak to someone, they canceled and told me to rebook. Another month wait. Naturally a lot of negative thoughts flooded my mind. I think all my mental health issues would've been resolved had I been able to talk to someone sooner as originally planned. Hang tough!

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  3. The most insulting part about it is is that everyone, including Feds and the University itself, are always more than happy to tell you about mental health awareness, without backing it up with actually hiring more counsellors.

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    1. This. This is so irresponsible of UW. Such a shame.

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    2. Well said, 3.

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    3. No 3, 3b that won't help until mismanagement gets cleared out. Driving in the ditch for years doesn't get fixed by buying a bigger car.

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    4. 3, UW management just pays lipservice. Standard operating procedure. Behind closed doors it's just not their problem, so a public relations response is sufficient for them to move on. It's a cynical and condescending way they choose not to do their duties. Don't know how they sleep at night.

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  4. I had a similar experience. Waited 30 days only to have my appointment rescheduled for another 30 days. Total waiting time = 60 days. Absolutely disgusting and ridiculous. Mental health awareness is a load of crap, because clearly no one cares enough to ACTUALLY get students the help they need. Students don't need Mental Health awareness week because they are already aware that others (and possibly themselves) are suffering, clearly the UW administration is not.

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    1. Not suprising about the cancelled appointments. A male counselor'd abuse the scheduling system by booking sometimes bogus appointments in his slots to make it look like he's busy, then cancels at the last minute when it's too late to rebook anyone into them. Lather, rinse, repeat. Full salary for no service. Think male management cares? Way to work the system guys.

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    2. That's fraud.

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    3. I guess this is why people are saying throwing more money at Counselling Services won't help.

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    4. 4a, this fraud must be stopped. Don't his bosses at Counselling Services monitor this?
      If not, why not?
      Why does the system allow it? If it's happening for one person there's the opportunity for others to do the same thing.
      Will there be any repercussions for the guy doing this? Every time he does this, we get bumped another month until we're on a summer or co-op term and it's too late. Plus he gets paid to do nothing
      Will a monitoring system be set up to track how many actual students each counsellor actually saw, and compare to
      a) the total bookings that a counsellor made for himself (bogus and real) and
      b) what actual clients he created bookings for himself,
      Will the results of that get released to us?

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  5. I can't speak for other programs, but I know the one I'm in had a ~20% increase in the number of students since previous years and they still had only 2 counselors, despite the increased number of students and the 1 in 5 mental illness "rate".

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  6. Hang in there everybody <3

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  7. For anyone who needs someone to talk to: The Women's Centre and The Glow Centre for Sexual Diversity offer Peer Support Counselling most nights during the week. Everyone leaves the centre except for a trained Peer Support Counselor so it is very private and anonymous. They are there to talk about anything and can direct you to other resources if need be. They are not psychologists, but if you are waiting to see someone at counselling services or just need to get something off of your chest they are very knowledgeable, understanding and helpful.

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    1. "They are not psychologists, but" ... but what, ... our problems are relatively straighforward so how hard can it be? What's a downside of giving a person the wrong advice? Just say oops, shrug and move on.

      "Very knowledgeable" compared to what?

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  8. On top of the general office at Needles Hall, check your program\faculty councilling offices as well as health services - you can get an appointment there to discuss mental health too. As a last resort, there are hotlines available (http://www.good2talk.ca/).
    But yes, in general - it seems that most students here eventually come to realize that the university here doesn't really care about the well being of its undergrads as much as they care about money, reputation, etc.

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  9. I had a panic attack one night, the next day I went into needles hoping to talk to someone to help me understand why it happened. I was asked if it was an emergency, I said no, so they booked me an appointment 2 weeks later. Before I left they gave me 2 pieces of paper with breathing exercises on them. 2 weeks later, I did not have the courage to go back. My anxiety took over and locked myself in my room and only left for classes. Didn't talk to anyone about it. I'm graduated now. Now that I look back at the whole situation, why the fuck are we so badly funded for this? Waterloo plays up the whole 'Let's talk about it' campaign once a term and then they don't do anything to improve those services. Great job Waterloo.

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  10. Hi OP, please check out Good2Talk (good2talk [dot] ca) - a post-secondary student hotline, KW Counselling Services (kwcounselling [dot] com) and HERE247 (here247 [dot] ca) - where you can access services in Waterloo-Wellington-Dufferin - for LOTS more resources in KW.

    It is really frustrating to hear about students who have to deal with the lack of availability at counselling services but hopefully these help you. I really wish you all the best!

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  11. Sorry you had to go through that OP. I'd like to give a different perspective. I've had a great time with counselling at UW. A doctor wrote a recommendation letter for me, and I saw the head psychologist the same day. He then recommended me to another paychologist who is better trained to deal with the mental health problems I was having. I saw her within a week. At first, I was scheduled apps 3 weeks apart, and moved it up to 1 month. In fact, my psychologist only had to cancel my appointment once, and it was rescheduled for within a week. She even emailed me that morning actually to make sure it was okay for her to resched in the first place, which I thought was very considerate.
    Every other time, it was me canceling my app or rescheduling it. My experience was great, the therapy I went through has changed my outlook on life for the better, and really helped me push through my PTSD and depression.

    OP, have you tried talking to a physician first? I think that's the only thing I did differently. I wish you all the best. You will make it through this, you are strong.

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  12. OP here, I'm in counselling due to a physician recommendation. I used to see a counselor weekly at Health Services, but this term that counselor is not at UW. I was switched to Engineering Counselling services instead, where it seems like an overload of students and a lack of counselors means no one gets the help they need. Perhaps a visit to Health Services next term could get me in with a psychologist instead of a counselor.

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    1. Also this was supposed to be a reply to 11, but mobile messed it up.

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  13. Hit up an online support group instead?

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  14. has anyone else noticed that one of the receptionists on the mental health floor (counselling services) at Health Services is especially mean and unhelpful? I'm discouraged from even going there anymore because she makes me feel so horrible

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  15. This is some bull shit - how can we help and bring some actual change?

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    1. You can help by calling out specific UW administrators right here and pointing out how they've neglected their duties to us. And you can demand they or their bosses do something concrete and bid to change it. Regime change in Counseling Services. No less. They've had their time and failed.

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  16. Similar Counselling Services issues are in omg's 20813, 20801, 20791, 20768, 20780.

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