Counselling and Wellness

The Common Law Student Centre is pleased to offer a number of services intended to support students who are faced with a personal challenge or crisis over the course of their studies. We understand that personal factors can impact one academically – we are therefore committed to offering support such as counselling, referrals, and academic accommodation.

The Equity & Wellness Counsellor will work with students to help them clarify various personal issues and learn strategies that can help them cope with the challenges that they face in their educational, personal and professional lives in order to have a successful experience in law school.

Specialized referrals can be made by the Equity & Wellness Counsellor to an appropriate service. Common referrals include those to psychologists/counsellors in private practice and to various community resources.

Please contact clawaccess@uottawa.ca for additional information.

Counselling Resources

Member Assistance Program:

As Law students, you are invited to use the free and confidential support and counselling services provided your Member Assistance Program (MAP).   This is a service funded by and fully independent of the Law Society of Upper Canada, available 24/7 at 1-855-403-8922 (TTY: 1-866-433-3305).

 

SASS - Counselling and Coaching:

The University of Ottawa’s Counselling & Coaching Service also provides free and confidential counselling support to Common Law students. For a consultation, please call 613-562-5200. The Counselling & Coaching Service is located at 100 Marie-Curie (Health Services building), 4th floor.

 

University of Ottawa Health Services (UOHS) - Mental Health Unit:

The Family Health Team of the UOHS offers mental health services. The Family Health Team Psychiatrists and Mental Health Counsellors are available to patients enrolled with a family physician with the UOHS Family Health Team. Services are free. 

The Legal Mind Program
Legal Mind Logo

Background:

Welcome to The Legal Mind - a pilot program that seeks to bring wellness, self- care, and open dialogue about mental health to the University of Ottawa law school experience. .

Recounting their years in law school, and the effects of stress on your body and mind alike, alumni Chelsea Sauvé and Matthew Bradley (class of 2017 University of Ottawa Faculty of Common Law) created The Legal Mind. Reflecting on the pressure of law school and the lack of available tools to navigate the journey, The Legal Mind manifests attention to wellness and self-care with the goal of fostering a healthier and more positive law school experience. The application of these tools ultimately leads to a healthier professional experience. 

This program, The Legal Mind, is designed to provide students with tools to manage stress in a meaningful way. Wellness is pivotal to your success both within and beyond the walls of Fauteux. With the help of the administration and like-minded peers, this pilot project came to fruition. 

This program reflects a growing movement in the legal profession to include wellness and mental health within the law school context. 


Wellness Mentors:

Wellness Mentors are central to the success of this program. These mentors, 2Ls and 3Ls, have been selected for their leadership and passion, and have been trained in an 8 week mindfulness course with the Ottawa Mindfulness Clinic which is based in secular mindfulness as proposed by the Jon Kabat-Zinn philosophy.  This program provides students with tools to manage stress using a secular mindfulness practice. Wellness Mentors are also trained in available mental health resources offered by both the University of Ottawa and the Law Society of Upper Canada. 

Wellness Mentors and tasked with disseminating the tools they have learned through a guided program. 

It is important to note that Wellness Mentors are NOT counselors nor are they mindfulness teachers. Rather, Wellness Mentors will use mindfulness techniques when aiding students in their transition to law school, and promote mental health and wellness in legal education. Wellness Mentors encourage a student community which fosters self-care both within law school and into the career of law. 


Launch of The Legal Mind:

This program will launch with The Legal Mind Speaker Series which will take place on November 24th from 2:30PM-5:30PM in FTX 302. Please register for this event on The Source 


Get in touch!

If you would like to get involved or have questions about the breakdown of the program, please contact clawaccess@uottawa.ca.

 

Wellness Resources
  • Just Balance is a support site aimed at promoting the well-being of law students.  On their website, you will find a wide range of resources to support you during your studies. We invite all law students to familiarize themselves with this essential resource.
  • Top Tips for Surviving and Thriving in Law School. This useful guide was designed by Fasken Martineau. It provides tips to help students adapt to law school and achieve their academic goals.
  • The University of Ottawa Health Promotion organizes weekly wellness activities, such as yoga, meditation, and pet therapy. The schedule is available here.
  • Free Weekly Yoga for Law Students, presented by the CLSS, is offered on Thursdays from 11:45am-12:45pm in FTX316 on the following dates: November 2, November 9, November 16, November 23, November 30, and December 7. All levels/abilities are welcome. Bring your yoga mat! If you do not have a yoga mat, they will be provided at the class. 
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