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Statement on SWCC

Counselling centre not at risk of closure or decreased services

Campus and Community

By Memorial University

Memorial’s Student Wellness and Counselling Centre (SWCC) is a critically important resource for students in St. John’s and it is not at risk of closure or decreased services.

Access to mental health supports and wellness programs is vital to student success, and our focus is on ensuring we can provide the best supports possible. For the 2022-23 academic year, the SWCC has reported there is no waitlist for initial appointments for mental health services at the SWCC.

In light of recent public discussion, it is important to distinguish between the SWCC itself, and one of its programs: the Doctoral Residency in Professional Psychology Program.

The SWCC does not require accreditation to operate, whereas the Doctoral Residency in Professional Psychology Program is an accredited program run through the SWCC. The program is in the normal process of re-accreditation, and we are hopeful that its longstanding record of accreditation will be maintained.

Memorial University understands the important role the doctoral residency program plays in relation to the training occurring at SWCC for other programs, as well as its role in training clinical psychologists in and for the province.

The faculty complement to Memorial’s SWCC has remained stable at six full-time employees for the past decade. Though some are currently unfilled, no faculty positions have been eliminated during that timeframe. Funding continues to be provided to support the salaries of the doctoral residents who complete their year-long internships as part of the Doctoral Residency in Professional Psychology Program. There are two new residents starting in September, who will provide counselling services to students as part of their program.

We are committed to adequately resourcing the SWCC in order to provide a high-level and wide range of services for our students.

The SWCC, which falls within the associate vice-president (academic) and dean of students’ portfolio, provides an extensive range of virtual and in-person services to students, including access to physicians, nurses, peer supporters, counsellors, psychologists, case managers and a psychiatrist. Students can make requests for counselling online through the SWCC portal and during their initial appointment will be referred to the appropriate internal or external service. In addition to these in-house services, there is free 24/7 mental wellness support for students, through keep.meSAFE, which provides students with virtual real-time and/or appointment-based in 60-plus languages for any school, health, or general life concern at no cost.

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