uOttawa Health Services reorganizes mental health support staff

June 17, 2014

The University of Ottawa has recently made changes to its approach to mental health services that has doubled its caseload capacity. In what it describes as a “redistribution” of staff, University of Ottawa Health Services (UOHS)—a private clinic that is affiliated with but not managed by uOttawa—eliminated 2 part-time psychologist positions in favour of 2 full-time social work counsellors. UOHS Executive Director Christopher Fisher explained that “we saw more contextual anxiety as opposed to the pathological stream,” and the change helped the clinic better meet the particular needs of uOttawa's student population. However, the cuts to the services were not without controversy. One student said that “we need to understand that a counsellor, psychologist, and psychiatrist work to address different needs and issues in every patient. This is only further depriving the outreach that is available to students struggling with mental health issues.” Institutions across North America are grappling with high demand for mental health support on campus. Ottawa Sun