Initial Consultations (ICs) are usually the first appointment that students have at Counselling & Clinical Services (CCS). A consult is a 30-40 minute meeting with a mental health clinician where you share your main reason for seeking help, and your related goals or hopes. The clinician will ask you a series of questions to better understand your concerns and use these details to create a short plan with you that focuses on helpful coping strategies. You will also get a form to write down your plan so you’ll have something to refer to after the consult.
For some students, the consult and coping strategies may be enough, whereas other individuals may need additional help. If so, we will review some of the following options for further support:
- Services through Counselling & Clinical Services (e.g., group therapy, workshops, short-term counselling and therapy, psychiatry referral, etc.).
- Other services on campus (e.g., Peer Support Centre, academic supports, the University Health Centre, ect.).
- Information/referrals to community mental health services (e.g., Alberta Health Services, lower-cost community counselling, private psychologists, etc.).
How to prepare for your Initial Consult
Before attending your consult, please review our handout about the Initial Consultation. It can be helpful to write out (in point form) what you want to say, questions you may have, what you have tried so far to solve your problem, and what you would like to get from your consult . To help you prepare, try a few strategies listed in our self-help handouts, and review our schedule of free mental health workshops.
Please note that the demand for mental health services is exceptionally high throughout the academic year. CCS employs a short-term model to support as many students as possible, and as such we ask that all students seeking our services be aware they may be referred to other counselling or treatment options.
Take a moment to review your health benefits as they will cover some/most/all of the costs of any referrals outside of our services: