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Peer Wellness works to de-stigmatize conversations on mental health in our community through Brave Spaces and Anti-Oppressive Programming. We will be discussing how we approach important events during the pandemic.

Peer Wellness will be leading a discussion on the celebration of milestones, the fear of missing out, and navigating young adulthood in a time of virtual learning and isolation led by volunteers Jessica Zhu, Pauline Aksay, and Cocolena Fong on Tuesday March 29th from 3-5pm on Teams.

Date
-
Venue & Address
Microsoft Teams
Cost
FREE
Email
pchandrasegaram@ocadu.ca
Website
Type
Keywords

Peer Wellness works to de-stigmatize conversations on mental health in our community through Brave Spaces and Anti-Oppressive Programming. We will be discussing how we approach important events during the pandemic.

Peer Wellness will be leading a discussion on the celebration of milestones, the fear of missing out, and navigating young adulthood in a time of virtual learning and isolation led by volunteers Jessica Zhu, Pauline Aksay, and Cocolena Fong on Tuesday March 29th from 3-5pm on Teams.

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Let's Talk COVID and Milestones
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Meet the folks at the Student Wellness Centre 

The Student Wellness Centre (SWC) is OCAD University's one-stop shop for student accessibility, counselling, sexual violence support, resources, art therapy and health care.  
 
The SWC’s programs and services are responsive to issues relating to gender, race, age, culture, ability, sexual orientation, income and faith. Their team works to ensure your time at OCAD U is positive and fulfilling and to help you maintain optimal physical and mental well-being while pursuing your post-secondary education. 

Staff at the Centre are available Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to provide comprehensive medical and supportive care. While most services are delivered virtually at this time, some in-person appointments are available. To access SWC's programs, appointments and resources students are invited to contact swc@ocadu.ca or call 416-977-6000 ext. 260 or 339 during operating hours.

The Student Wellness Centre has recently welcomed new members to the team and has also seen existing staff shift to new positions. Plus, the Centre is hiring another five employees, including a Student Wellness Coordinator and Student Wellness Community Worker.

Get to know the Centre’s staff who are here and excited to support you all year round!

Kwaku Agyeman  
kagyeman@ocadu.ca
Black Student Counsellor & Practice Lead 

A male-indentified staff member at the SWC, with a warm smile and wearing a houndstooth suit jacket

Kwaku (he/him) is a practicing Registered Psychotherapist who specializes in offering collaborative individual and relational therapy services. Kwaku is a second-generation Ghanaian-Canadian clinician who grew up in Toronto, and values how one’s social identities affect mental health, relational and day-to-day experiences. As the Black Student Counsellor, he utilizes strength-based, anti-oppressive, trauma-informed and anti-racist lenses alongside evidence-informed therapy models. As Practice Lead, he advocates for equitable and accessible counselling and case management services for OCAD U students. He believes equitable and accessible services are important in  supporting and enhancing student experience. 

Praanee Chandrasegaram
pchandrasegaram@ocadu.ca
Peer Support Facilitator  
A person with glasses wearing a burgundy sweatshirt. Praanee (she/they) works collaboratively with students to build on existing wellness initiatives at OCAD U and explore new ways to support the student community. Pranee, who is queer and South Asian, grew up in York Region and enjoys going to concerts, exploring art galleries, trying out new places to eat and meeting new people! Praanee looks forward to working collaboratively with the OCAD U community and to meaningfully engage the student population. 
 
Dean Davis
ddavis@ocadu.ca
Student Wellness Counsellor 
A photo of a person grinning with a septum piercing wearing a button up shirt Dean (they/them) is an art therapist, psychotherapist and OCAD U alumnus. They value working collaboratively with students to find ways to approach therapy and to support creativity that works best for them. Dean is a white, nonbinary, queer person, who has been living in Toronto and working in the arts community for over a decade. As a Student Wellness Counsellor, Dean works from a student-centred, trauma-informed and intersectional perspective, and looks forward to having deep discussions that support students in their self-exploration and personal healing. 
Tegh Dhindsa
tdhindsa@ocadu.ca
Sexual Violence Response Coordinator 
A photo of a person with a red top on, gold earrings, red eye shadow and a nose ring. Tegh (they/them) works closely with the Student Wellness Centre, students and OCAD University community to provide direct services related to sexual violence prevention, education and support. They work to create a client-centred, trauma-informed, confidential, safe(r), inclusive, non-judgmental space for survivors to find support, information and guidance on resources, accommodations and reporting options. Tegh centres Black, Indigenous and racialized survivors in their healing while decolonizing spaces through education.  
Cindy Kwong
ckwong@ocadu.ca
International Student Wellness Community Worker
A woman in a hat sits on the ground in a forest in the Fall. Through case management services including system navigation, information and referrals and supportive counselling, Cindy (she/her) walks alongside international students to support their health and well-being. Cindy is a registered social worker and expressive arts therapist (candidate), who infuses play, curiosity and body wisdom into her work with humility, accountability and collaboration. Outside of work (and even during), Cindy loves getting lost in the sensory wonders of ordinary life and welcomes others to come along!  
Alex McLaren
amclaren@ocadu.ca
Student Wellness Community Worker
An image of a person wearing a winter hat. Alex (they/them) is a proud alumnus of OCAD University and recipient of the Diversity and Excellence Award for curating the exhibition Spectrum: A Vision for Mental Health in 2014. They possess experience as an Art History Teaching Assistant, a Student Union Representative, Peer Support Facilitator and as an emerging artist and curator. Alex offers students case management, community referrals and counselling with a focus on harm reduction and intersectionality. 
Andres Navas Suarez 
andres.navas.suarez@ocadu.ca
Student Navigator
An image of a male-identified staff members at the SWC w/ facial hair, a dark t-shirt and a backwards baseball hat.

Andres Navas Suarez was born in Columbia and is majoring in Graphic Design at OCAD University. In his role at the Student Wellness Centre Andres supports student engagement and outreach. He also collaboratively creates and facilitates events on-campus and online with students and staff. 

   

 

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The Student Wellness Centre (SWC) has recently welcomed new staff and existing staff into new roles. The whole team is here to support you.
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Mental Health Services at the Student Wellness Centre: 
A Cheat Sheet 

The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging, not least for our community's mental health. Fortunately, OCAD U’s Student Wellness Centre (SWC) offers a range of free and confidential services to support you through the pandemic and to help you maintain your mental well-being.   

Student Wellness Centre staff are available Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to provide comprehensive medical and supportive care for your mental health.  While most services are delivered virtually at this time, some in-person appointments are available. 
 
Students may connect with accessibility advisors, counsellors, peers, community workers and doctors primarily over email, phone and video. Get to know the team at the Centre by reading about their roles and experience.

Check out the Student Wellness Centre’s services listed below. More detailed information about the SWC can be found on their website
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Virtual Counselling Appointments at the Student Wellness Centre 

Counselling at the Student Wellness Centre is free. Our Counsellors and Community Workers provide virtual one-on-one sessions that can be carried out on Teams or by phone. Appointments can be booked two weeks in advance.  
 
Book a virtual appointment for a: 
First time counselling session (50 minutes) 
Counselling session (30 minutes) 
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Accessing the SWC Family Doctor  

The family doctor at the Centre is available to diagnose and treat many mental health concerns. Additionally, the family doctor can refer students to the Centre's psychiatrist when deemed necessary.
 
Book an appointment with the family doctor at the Student Wellness Centre: 

  • The Centre’s family doctor is available for virtual and phone appointments. 

  • There are a limited number of same day urgent appointments available each day. Please email first thing in the morning for these appointments as they are booked on a first come first served basis.  

  • More information about in-person appointments with the family doctor can be found on the Centre’s website.  

  • During this unprecedented time, the family doctor only has the authority to provide medical services to students currently living in Ontario. We encourage you to seek healthcare where you are located. 

Contact:
Email: swc@ocadu.ca  
Call: 416-977-6000, ext. 260 
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Accessing the Psychiatrist 

The key role of the psychiatrist at the Student Wellness Centre is to provide a one-time diagnostic and/or medication consultation. Psychiatry appointments are covered by OHIP/UHIP and referrals are made at the discretion of the SWC family doctor. 
 
Start by booking an appointment with the family doctor at the Student Wellness Centre by emailing swc@ocadu.ca or calling 416-977-6000, ext. 260.  
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Virtual Counselling Appointments available through  keep.meSAFE 

As an OCAD U student you have free access to unlimited virtual services from keep.meSAFE, a platform that specializes in the mental well-being of university students like you. They offer a range of mental health services at all times of the day. You must login online or download the keep.meSAFE app (via the Apple App Store or Google Play) to access the platform’s non-urgent care services.  
   
keep.meSAFE Services: 

  • Urgent, real-time support any time over the phone at 1-800-451-9700. 

  • Virtual walk-in counselling sessions through chat or phone, available in many languages, 24 hours a day. 

  • Appointment-based support via phone, video and in-person. 

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Crisis Support at the Student Wellness Centre 

The Student Wellness Centre offers crisis intervention support. If you or a friend are experiencing an emotional crisis such as feeling overwhelmed, frightened, confused, depressed, hopeless or suicidal, we are here to help. Our biggest priority is to ensure that you are safe. 

  • If you have already seen a counsellor at the Centre you can email or call the SWC to request an urgent appointment with that counsellor.  

  • If you have never been to the Student Wellness Centre you can email or call the SWC to request an urgent appointment.  

  • The SWC is committed to being as responsive as possible and does their best to respond to all requests. 

Contact:
Email: swc@ocadu.ca  
Call: 416-977-6000, ext. 260, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday. 

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Crisis Support Outside of the Centre’s Hours 

If you are in need of urgent, real-time support outside of the Centre’s operating hours you can contact Good2Talk. They are open 24 hours a day, every day of the year and specifically help post-secondary students in crisis. 
 
Contact:
Phone: 1-866-925-5454  
Text: 686868 
Web: https://good2talk.ca/ontario 

There are many more resources available for students seeking urgent support. Find out more on the Student Wellness Centre’s blog.   
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Connect with an Accessibility Advisor  

Do you have a question or concern about accessibility or accommodations? You can chat live with an Accessibility Advisor from the Student Wellness Centre or book an appointment for a longer conversation. 

Drop-in Teams Chat: 
1 to 2 p.m. 
Tuesdays and Thursdays 
 
Book an appointment: 

Email: studentaccessibility@ocadu.ca  
Call: 416-977-6000, ext. 339 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday 

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The Centre has many free and virtual mental health services available to all OCAD U students.
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Let's talk about Winter and Mental Health and the effects and impact the seasons have on us. Peer Wellness will be leading a discussion on seasonal depression, the winter blues, seasonal affective disorder and being a OCADU student during the wintertime. Peer Wellness works to de-stigmatize conversations on mental health in our community through Anti-Oppressive Programming.

Led by volunteers Pauline Aksay and Cocolena Fong.

Teams meeting on December 10, 2021. Contact Alex McLaren for questions or accessibility needs amclaren@ocadu.ca 

We will explore decolonialization, sustainability, diversity and equity in relation to Winter.

  • Describe your relationship to OCADU and the land we are on.
  • What is your favorite kind of day in Canada? How do those kind of days make you feel?
  • Are there any months or seasons that are particularly difficult for you?
  • What thoughts and feelings arise around preparing for winter?
  • Where is a comforting space for you to go during the wintertime outside of your house?
  • Which kind of places recharge you?
  • What seasonal changes or events are you looking forward to? (Ceremonies, traditions, weather changes, semester, etc.)
  • Do you have any resources to support others?
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Email
amclaren@ocadu.ca
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Let's talk about Winter and Mental Health and the effects and impact the seasons have on us. Peer Wellness will be leading a discussion on seasonal depression, the winter blues, seasonal affective disorder and being a OCADU student during the wintertime. Peer Wellness works to de-stigmatize conversations on mental health in our community through Anti-Oppressive Programming.

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celebrate queer voices with us

Marrow - ANOHNI

Altar - Kehlani

Born Yesterday - Arca, Sia

Guyliner - Dorian Electra

Cisgender - Shamir

Immaterial - SOPHIE

Woman Is a Word - Empress Of

I Am Her - Shea Diamon

Perfect - Ah-Mer-Ah-Su

Peer Wellness. 2021. Student Wellness Centre.

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Celebrate queer music and trans icons with this playlist from the SWC Peer Wellness team. New music each Monday.

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Double Rainbow Queer Music for Monays
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a mix of dance, rhythm with some romance

Juanes - La Camisa Negra

Juanes - Volverte A  Ver

Sebastian Yatra, Myke Towers - Pareja del Ano

Fonseca - Te Mando Flores

J Balvin - Amarillo

J Balvin, Willy William - Mi Gente

Los de Adentro - Nubes Negras

Chino & Nacho - Nina Bonita

Sebastián Yatra - Cómo Mirarte

Carlos Vives, Shakira - La Bicicleta

DJ Navas. Music for Mondays, Peer Wellness. Student Wellness Centre. 2021. 

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Explore Latin Music with this diverse playlist from DJ Navas. Described a mix of dance, rhythm with some romance. Music for Mondays, Peer Wellness. Student Wellness Centre. 2021. 

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Latin Music for Mondays
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settle into November

Everlong - Foo Fighters

PDA - Interpool

Upgrade - Joji

Butterfly - Crush

Sunset - Crush

Now or Never (Feat. Crush & Woo) - CIFIKA

Ohio - Crush

Playlist by DJ COCO. Peer Wellness at the Student Wellness Centre. 2021.

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Discover new music from student volunteers at the Student Wellness Centre each Monday.

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music from the swc art therapy group

Water Me Down - Vagabon

La Perla Edit - Sofia Kourtesis

Why Not Bambi - Aska Matsumiya

OnlyL - TSHA, NIMMO

Both Of Us - Jayda G

6000 Ft. - Bonobo, Totally Enormous

CLOUDS - 박혜진 Park Hye Jin, Nosaj Thing

Boderless II - Fatmia Yamaha 

Ultimatum Edit - Disclosure, Fatoumata Diawara

DJ Dean. Student Wellness Centre. Peer Wellness. 2021.

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A collection of songs to put on and inspire you to make some art!

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art making music
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The SWC presents the Art Therapy Group for OCAD U students

Art therapy combines visual art techniques with psychotherapy. In the OCAD U Art Therapy Group, students will be introduced to art therapy techniques that can help them find individualized and creative ways of reducing stress. This group provides students with a space for self-expression, self-exploration, connection with peers, and stress-reduction in a non-judgmental environment.

Facilitated by: Art therapist and OCAD U alumnus, Dean Davis, DTATI, RP (Qualifying)

To join the Microsoft Teams channel for this group please email ddavis@ocadu.ca

This group is held virtually on Microsoft Teams every Wednesday afternoon from 3pm to 5pm.

September 8th, 2021 to December 15th, 2021

The central aim of what I do as an art therapist is to create and hold a calming and supportive environment; one where we can work together in a collaborative process to come to an understanding of what you need. As your therapist, I will never interpret your art or your creative process for you: your art is yours. Your interpretations about your art are also yours to make, just as your lived experiences and narratives are yours to hold. This is important to creating the basis of a consensual therapeutic process in art therapy. Art therapy becomes a transformative space through the physical work of creating art, the mental work during the process, and the verbal discussions that flow from the artwork. - Dean Davis

Image: Art therapist and OCAD U alumnus, Dean Davis, DTATI, RP (Qualifying)

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Venue & Address
This group is held virtually on Microsoft Teams every Wednesday afternoon.
Email
ddavis@ocadu.ca
Website
Department
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Virtual Art Therapy Group for OCADU Students

Art therapy combines visual art techniques with psychotherapy. In the OCAD U Art Therapy Group, students will be introduced to art therapy techniques that can help them find individualized and creative ways of reducing stress. This group provides students with a space for self-expression, self-exploration, connection with peers, and stress-reduction in a non-judgmental environment.

Wednesday afternoon from 3pm to 5pm EST

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Dean
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sip on your pumpkin spice with this sweet autumnal playlist

Courtney Barnett - Avant Gardener 

Earth Wind and Fire - September

The Halluci Nation Ft Blackbear - Stadium Pow Wow

Toro y Moi - Ordinary Pleasure

Wyclef Jean, Canibus - Gone Til November

Kurt Vile - Pretty Pimpin

The Runaways - School Days

Buffy Saint Marie - Sweet September

The Cardigans - Lovefool

Yo La Tengo - Autumn Sweater

Peer Wellness at the Student Wellness Centre. 2021.

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Get ready for Fall with this contemporary playlist from the Peer Wellness Initiative at the Student Wellness Centre.

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autumnal music for mondays
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