Anxious, Stressed, or Sad? The University of Toronto Cares!

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University brings about several instances of transitions and adjustments. Many of which can be stressful and provoke already anxious students. Every individual has experienced some form of these horrible feelings at some point. Additionally, the University of Toronto is one of the toughest, most stress-inducing universities in the country. It places heavy demands on its students for exams and coursework and has a grading system that intimidates and fosters anxiety. Remember that you are not on your own. Therefore, you do not have to be afraid to get help if you’re feeling anxious or stressed.

Students argue that the system doesn’t have the capacity to deal with this many people, so it’s difficult to get help. Please keep in mind that the University of Toronto is a massive entity. They are striving to improve their resources for students. In the meantime, it is important to be aware of the services and resources that are available on campus. Especially when it comes to your mental health. Make your mental health a priority because you have a wonderful future ahead of you — no matter how difficult life can be. There are many ways to find help. Or take a break from your anxious nerves and find a way to relax.

Immediate Help

Let’s begin here. This may include students who are in distress, completely overwhelmed or have severely negative thoughts that wander into the realm of self-harm. If you are feeling hopeless or in despair, alone or with no one to help you, or you are worried that you might hurt yourself, call 9-1-1. For around the clock counseling services, there is the “Good2Talk” Student Helpline. This helpline provides professional counselling, and a referrals helpline for mental health and student well being. Dial 1-866-925-5454 or text GOOD2TALKON to 686868.

Alternatively, you could reach out to the My Student Support Program, which offers confidential ongoing support for topics of general life, anxious emotions, school, work, health, or anything else that is bothering you.

You may call or chat directly with a counsellor, and download the app as well. With counsellors that speak a variety of languages and have professional abilities to get you help, they’ll assist you at this number (within Canada): 1-844-451-9700. The app is called MySSP and can be downloaded on the Google Play Store or the App Store. For more information, visit the University of Toronto’s Student Life. Also, receive general advice on topics of academic success, studying techniques, relationships with friends and family, language and cultural stress, sadness, loneliness, and difficulty adjusting to life at any level — whether it be adjusting to a country or university life. This information is kept confidential within legal constraints, so do not hesitate. There is someone there who will listen and help you if you need it!

Varying Levels of Stress

It is important to note that there will always be varying levels of stress. Therefore, different scenarios will require various levels of assistance. Making connections and becoming involved in your community more may enhance your level of happiness. Have a look at the various clubs and organizations which may interest you. Start getting involved today. Clubs and friendships can provide a sense of purpose and belonging. Furthermore, you can feel more fulfilled in everything you do because it is you who has the power to change your mindset.

Sometimes, changing your mindset is the first step to a solution.

It is recommended that you participate in the Mindfulness initiatives that are springing up throughout campus, whether it be in the form of resourceful classes, meditation, yoga, or MindFit sessions! Mindfulness can help you tackle academic or generally anxious emotions. Sign up for the mindfulness newsletter and begin your path towards a better state of mind today.

There are many resources available beyond the walls of the university, so keep track of your success and search for further opportunities to work, volunteer, or participate in giving back to your community with the Co-Curricular and CLNx online resources. If you’re searching for a physical place to go, there are plenty! Check out what’s going on at the AskMe Information Hub, the Athletic Centre, the Centre for Community Partnerships and the Centre for International Experience.

Hart House, The Family Care Office, The Goldring Centre, Multi-Faith Centre, and Diversity Office are popular resources and safe areas to attend beneficial events addressing mental health, wellness, and fitness.

If you are seeking something more technical, you can check out the Academic Success Centre, Health and Wellness Centre, Writing Centres, Accessibility Services, or contact your Registrar or Dean. You will find assistance on difficult topics: financial stress, grief support, and how to cope with daily stress. Please remember that stress is a part of life. Therefore, the way you respond should ensure you stay focused and healthy. Asking for help early, connecting to your peers and resources, and developing good skills for coping will take you much further.

Bullying and Personal Distress

If your stress stems from an incident of bullying or personal distress, the University of Toronto offers helplines. Additionally, report incidents to campus police or receive counselling. Did you know that this amazing university even has Dietitians, Doctors, Nurses, Psychologists, Campus Chaplains, Commuter Dons available to you?

Also, Transition Advisors at the Centre for International Experience are a great resource. They are responsive and eager to guide students on their journeys.

Campus Chaplains are another excellent resource. They bridge the aspect of living realities of faith and the understanding of spirituality, operating through holistic support to help students find meaning in their lives with moral and ethical intellectual observation and practice. Find more information on these professionals at the University of Toronto Student Life site.

Mental Health

The abundance of workshops that address issues of mental health and student wellness are excellent resources. Check them out if you are looking for a way to de-stress or restructure organizational skills when it comes to life goals and academic success. While there are options to de-stress through fitness training — look into Hart House or the Athletic Centre for ideas — try focused programs throughout your week: yoga, meditation, cardiovascular training, strength training, and dance can give you that boost. Find these and more at

Moreover, if you want to learn how to breathe better, sleep well, cope, and improve your mindfulness, check out Breathe Well, Sleep Well, The Better Coping Skills Workshops, or come to a drop-in meditation and mindfulness session. These happen often, so why not check them out when you have a moment of free time? Breathing techniques can increase your awareness and improve your overall bodily health. So, be sure to register if you want to learn some techniques.

Another critical aspect of healthy living is being able to sleep well.

Sleep can be greatly affected by lifestyle, stress, and anxiety. Therefore, why not sign up for sessions to understand the importance of proper rest? The importance of coping with personal troubles and anxious nerves can be tackled using the link here.

You would be surprised by the number of people who don’t properly practice positive thinking. Falling into destructive patterns of thinking is easy. But you are worth so much more than your degree. You are more than you know. So, get out there and practice building yourself up because you deserve better.

Help alleviate that brewing anxious feeling! The University of Toronto wants you to make use of their workshops and resources. Allow yourself to become a resilient, happy individual. It is never too late to start, so start now!

Published on March 14, 2020

About Campus Guides Team

Our student-written campus guides help students who want to get a sense of what life at their new school and city will really be like by avoiding embellishment and focusing on what actual students think.