Student Wellness Centre's Mental Health Scope and Services

Revised January 2016

Student Wellness Centre's Mental Health Scope and Services

Student Wellness Centre Goal

The mission of the Student Wellness Centre is to provide integrated services to address the needs of students studying at Trent according to a biopsychosocial model.

The Student Wellness Centre supports students’ ability to participate fully in the educational experience and to engage in society with optimized health and resilience. Student Wellness Centre staff provide care and services that are student-centered, respectful and compassionate.

Student Initiated Services

All services within the Student Wellness Centre are student initiated. Services are available to registered Trent University students.

Integration of Care

Intentional consideration is given to establishing similar systems and processes within the three Student Wellness Centre departments. Services are co-located, and a similar electronic health record is shared in Counselling and Accessibility. Wellness Center departments do not need release of information in order to communicate with each other, which is outlined in the shared Wellness Centre confidentiality form that students sign upon accessing services. Each service has an effective leadership structure that works together when necessary, and makes many decisions independently.

The Student Wellness Centre functions with an interdisciplinary team of caring professionals including clinical counsellors, a consulting psychiatrist, learning strategists, an adaptive technologist, occupational therapists, a registered corporate coach, medical physicians, nurses, administrative support staff, a dietician and a naturopathic doctor. Each of these professionals work within their own disciplines’ scope of practice and are accountable to their affiliated regulatory and professional bodies.

There is an enhanced regard for different professional backgrounds and mutual respect is given when approaching these differences. Similarities and differences are valued equally.

Trent Counselling Centre

The Trent Counselling Centre (TCC) provides an inclusive, client-centered and integrated service for students in connection with other services (Health and SAS) within the Wellness Centre.  Students are offered an initial intake meeting to assess needs, establish goals and determine a plan of action, which might include accessing community resources for external support.  Short term crisis support can be offered in order to help stabilize a student and assist them in accessing more intensive services as needed.  TCC can refer students to The Wellness Centre’s consulting psychiatrist, when required, for additional support.  TCC also provides information, referral and advocacy as well as workshops on a variety of topics.  The counselling provided is generally a collaborative brief service model of intervention.

Student Health Services

Student Health services is a point of contact for healthcare while students are attending Trent, and provides a family medicine level of mental health care. Student Health Services consults with and refers to the Wellness Centre’s consulting psychiatrist for complex cases, including those on multiple medications, those who are acutely ill, and student’s with schizophrenic, bipolar, and psychotic disorders. When students with complex mental health cases are stabilized, it may be best suited for Student Health Services physicians to provide follow-up. Student Health Services staff provide health assessment, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up.

Student Accessibility Services:

Student Accessibility Services supports students with physical, mental health, learning and sensory disabilities to access their education within Trent’s academic environment. SAS provides individualized service, integration of services, and promotes the development of the individual student. During an intake appointment the student’s academic need for accommodation is determined, and an academic accommodation plan is created.  SAS staff work to ensure registered students can equitably access their education by working in consultation and collaboration with academic departments, faculty and other stakeholders on campus.

Student Wellness Centre’s Capacity and Limitations

The Student Wellness Centre is not staffed or designed as a crisis care setting. Students experiencing a mental health crisis are referred to the Peterborough Regional Health Centre’s Emergency Department, or Four Counties Crisis Centre. Services are available during business hours, and on Thursday evenings during fall and winter semesters. The Student Wellness Centre has an Educator/Student Crisis Response Coordinator who, as part of their role can be available during business hours to provide support and follow-up in the case of student crisis.

Each department has their own scope of practice and limitations as outlined below:

Trent Counselling Centre:

  • TCC primarily provides short term services and weekly or long term intensive therapy is not typically available.
  • While we do provide brief crisis intervention services, we do not provide intensive services for clients experiencing ongoing suicidal, homicidal or chronic psychiatric, eating disordered or addiction issues.  These concerns need to be addressed by a mental health agency, hospital (in or out patient) or other professionals within the community.

Student Health Services:

  • Health services is appointment-based and therefore unable to provide acute crisis response for students requiring crisis intervention for suicidal thoughts, psychotic episodes, or acute mental illness. In these circumstances, students are referred and supported to go directly to the hospital, or to the Crisis Response Coordinator to facilitate this process.
  • When there are complex mental health and addictions concerns, in addition to referring the consulting psychiatrist, students may be referred to specialized community services.

Student Accessibility Services:

  • SAS evaluates accommodation needs on an individual basis, ensuring students have access to their education; the learning objectives and core competencies must be met, without fundamental alteration to the students’ courses and program of study.
  • Accommodation is based on the functional impact of the student’s disability on their academics.  A connection must therefore be made between the academic barrier, the functional impact of the disability and the requested accommodation.