The Ryerson banner on the bridge

The stress afflicted on students can often be overlooked and many are unequipped to balance their studies with their emotional and physical health. Ryerson University does a great job of assisting students in combating this struggle. They offer a wide range of health and wellness related services that are both accessible and free. Here are some of the services offered on campus that students should remain cognizant of in order to stay healthy enough to thrive in their studies.

1) Student Health Assistance and Resilience Program (SHARP)

The Student Health Assistance and Resilience Program (SHARP) is a program at Ryerson that supports students in the development of skills to manage their health and well-being in the long term. The program is run by trained peer coaches who help students identify their knowledge gaps, support them in the creation of wellness plans, and provide moral support. The program emphasizes prevention, promoting healthy lifestyles among students so they can avoid illness and/or injury. The program allows students to build on their strengths and provides access to a variety of resources that will help them plan for healthy minds and bodies.

a well-lit campus building that hosts student services

2) Referral Services

Ryerson U provides special care to students through referral services. They make available to students a large list of community services and resources off campus for students whose special needs cannot be met through campus centers. These services connect students with special needs counselors that can work with them one on one. Students can book an appointment at Referral services to learn more about these resources.

a student looking distraught in discussion with a counselor

3) SMASH (Students for Mental Awareness, Support, & Health)

Students for Mental Awareness, Support, & Health (SMASH) is a service offered to ryerson U students that gives them access to peer-to-peer support in crisis situations and runs a number of educational programs and campaigns. They run free activities like meditation classes, therapy dog visits, and dance classes. They also deliver a number of free workshops on how to handle stress and crises. Students can easily register for these activities as far as weeks in advance to fit them into their busy schedules.

scrabble pieces arranged so square blocks spell out

4) St.Michael’s Hospital

While the Ryerson Medical Centre is not equipped to deal with major health emergencies, there are a few hospitals located very close to the Ryerson campus. These include St. Michael’s hospital located at Bond Street, Mount Sinai Hospital located at 600 University Avenue, and Toronto General Hospital located on Gerrard street. Students who experience an emergency on campus should dial 911 from a pay phone (which would be free of charge) and will be taken to one of these hospital emergency rooms.

a photograph of the outside of the st.michael's hospital building in Toronto

5)Ryerson Safe House

The Ryerson Safe House offers confidential services that provide emotional support in regards to student security, financial and short-term housing concerns. Ryerson students who are at risk or struggling with sexual, physical or emotional abuse, are homeless due to severe situations, or fleeing unsafe environments find this service center useful. The services are free of charge and students will first need to speak to a counselor at the Centre for Student Development and Counselling for determination of whether Ryerson Safe House would be a suitable service for them.

a photograph of a student services building on the Ryerson campus that hosts this program

These are just a few of the great health and wellness centers and services that students can find on campus. In the throngs of busy student life, it is especially important for students to take the time out for self-care and checking in on their physical and mental well-being. These easy to access services are a great place to start.

Sahar J

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