Satellite Psychologists are located in the Faculties of Arts, Engineering, Science, and Graduate Studies & Research, and provide psychological counselling to students from across campus. From 2013-2019, Satellite Psychologists conducted approximately 9,000 hours of counselling in their satellite offices. They have also reached tens of thousands of U of A community members by offering consultations, collaborating on mental health initiatives, and facilitating mental health presentations and workshops.
The goals of the Satellite Psychologist program include:
- helping faculty and staff build skills and knowledge to better support student mental health
- increasing access for consultations by embedding psychologists within faculties
- diversifying where students can meet with a psychologist on campus
- assisting faculties in developing mental health and wellness programming for their students
How A Satellite Psychologist Can Help
In addition to their primary roles of offering individual and group therapy to students and clinical supervision, Satellite Psychologists can help faculty, staff, and students in the following ways:
- Staff/Faculty Consultations: answer questions or offer support and guidance relating to how to help students who may be struggling with their mental health. Common reasons to consult include: how to respond to a concerning comment or behaviour from a student, how to handle a sensitive matter with a student in distress, or how to support a student who has disclosed mental health struggles.
- Diffusion: debrief a stressful or concerning meeting with a student after the meeting occurs. Prior to these meetings occurring, Satellite Psychologists can be booked to be on standby when the meeting content is sensitive in nature and there is concern it will negatively affect the student’s well-being. Diffusion meetings are voluntary and confidential. During the diffusion, the Satellite Psychologist can provide momentary support and help the student understand and navigate on-campus services that may be beneficial for them.
- Presentations/Workshops: Satellite Psychologists can facilitate presentations and workshops on a variety of topics to groups of students, faculty, and staff. Commonly requested presentations include: Identifying, Helping & Referring Students in Distress, How to Have a Healthy Classroom, and Stress Management. Staff and faculty are also welcome to attend any of our regularly scheduled staff and faculty workshops. To request a presentation: please provide a minimum of one month’s notice and a committed audience of at least twelve people.
- Collaborations: work alongside faculty, staff, and students on projects and initiatives that improve the well-being of our campus community. Requests for collaborations can range from one time, short-term, and long-term commitments with partners. Some examples of collaborations by the Satellite Psychologists include: Days of Action, Community Helpers training, Dean of Students Addictions and Substance Abuse Working Group, and newsletters.