Self-Care - Prioritize Yourself


With all your other responsibilities in graduate school, it often feels as though there is no time left to look after yourself. With studying, teaching, marking, networking, grant writing, and a dissertation already on your plate, staying well in graduate school may not always make your “To Do” list. Although all your responsibilities as a graduate student are certainly important, the key to your success in graduate school involves making your mental health a priority. Regular mental health “tune ups” will ensure you remain motivated and productive. The following are a list of resources for thriving in graduate school.

Health and Wellness

Crisis Contact Information
If you need immediate assistance, there are multiple on-campus and London resources.

Gender-Based Violence and Survivor Support
Preventing and responding to gender-based and sexual violence is a top priority for Western University. Western’s Policy on Gender-Based and Sexual Violence is the foundation of our commitment to providing and maintaining an environment in which gender-based and sexual violence is not tolerated. Western also has procedures to respond to sexual violence to support members of our campus community, regardless of where an incident of gender-based and sexual violence has occurred.

Student Support and Case Management
The Office of Student Support & Case Management helps students who are experiencing challenges get back to thriving by facilitating a coordinated response at both the individual and community level. We support students in navigating resources and making informed decisions. Case Management is a supportive process that provides students who are experiencing distress, demonstrating disruptive behaviours, or facing other challenges with support, education, and coordination of resources.

Physical Health Support
The university offers an appointment-based, free medical clinic for all registered part-time and full-time students at Western and affiliated colleges. Services include medical care, counselling, immunization, dietician services, and more.

Mental Health Support
The university provides professional and confidential services, free of charge, to students needing assistance to meet their personal, social and academic goals. Services include consultation, referral, groups and workshops, as well as brief, change-oriented psychotherapy.

University-Related Counselling
The Office of the Ombudsperson provides free, impartial, and confidential advice for all students who are experiencing a University-related problem or concern.

International Student Wellness
Adjusting to graduate school is one thing, but adjusting to life in another country is something else. This website introduces international students to resources for staying healthy and well in university.

Mental Health Advocacy
Active Minds @ UWO is the Western University branch under the national organization that empowers students to speak openly about mental health in order to educate others and encourage help-seeking.

Studentcare’s Mental Health Services
Studentcare is part of your Society of Graduate Students (SOGS) Health Plan. Among its multiple services, it also provides you with three mental health services including Mindcheck, Good2talk, and the JED Foundation.

Health Insurance

Primary Health Coverage

For International Students (and their dependents)
The University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) is mandatory for all international students. It provides coverage for most doctor and hospital services in Ontario. UHIP is also mandatory for all Permanent Residents (unless you are eligible for OHIP, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan).

The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)
OHIP provides coverage for all doctor and hospital services in Ontario. It is the primary health care coverage for all residents of Ontario.

Non-Ontario Canadian Residents
If you are a Canadian citizen but not a resident of Ontario, you will need to check whether you are sufficiently covered under your home province/territory's plan or if you will need to switch to OHIP.

Supplementary Health Coverage for Graduate Students
The Society of Graduate Students (SOGS) provides a supplementary health and dental plan for all graduate students. Please see the SOGS website for details on opting in/out of the plan. Studentcare's plan offers coverage for prescription drugs, dental and vision care, travel, and a number of other health-related coverage.

Keep Your Body in Mind

Living Well @ Western
Living Well @ Western is a cross-campus initiative designed to encourage and promote a wide variety of physical, cultural, and intellectual activities to improve health and wellness at Western. From yoga, to yoga, to line dancing, to walking paths—there are endless wellness activities at your fingertips. To stay informed about these events, follow Western’s Wellness Calendar.

Peer Nutrition Education Program
FRESH (Food Resources and Education for Student Health) began as an initiative led by a team of Master of Science in Foods and Nutrition (MSCFN) graduate students. FRESH is a comprehensive peer nutrition education program designed to spread awareness of healthy eating on campus. They also have a number of healthy eating programs and resources available to all students.

SOGS Food Bank
SOGS recognizes that food insecurity is an increasing challenge faced by graduate students at Western. As part of SOGS’ commitment to health and wellness initiatives on campus, the SOGS food bank program for non-TA members aims to reduce the impact financial shortfalls have on a student’s ability to access healthful and nutritious food options for themselves and their families.

Groceries on Campus
Western has a grocery store—Grocery Checkout Fresh Market—on campus located in the basement of the University Community Centre (UCC), Room 73.

Campus Recreation
All full-time graduate students have access to the Western Student Recreation Centre (WSRC) through the use of their student card. Part-time graduate students may purchase a membership for a low monthly rate. Graduate students also have the option of adding family members (partners and children) onto their memberships at reasonable rates. On top of access to the aquatic facility, fitness centre, gymnasia, training rooms, multi-purpose studies, squash courts, and Wellness Suite, Campus Recreation also offers fitness classes, personal training, massage therapy. It also organizes intramural sports teams.

Massage Therapy
Graduate school can often be stressful, and this can have an impact on your body. Western offers massage therapy through Health Services, Campus Recreation, and the Fowler Kennedy Clinic. If you are enrolled in the SOGS Extended Health and Dental Plan, part of your massage therapy is covered.