Mental Health Resources

In the case of a mental health emergency call 911 or go to a hospital emergency department.

Graduate school should be a positive experience. It’s meant to be an exciting time to explore scientific questions and to gain independence.

With this new independence comes new stresses that can put a strain on students’ mental health. In particular, biosciences graduate students have self-reported anxiety and depression rates six times higher than the general population (Evans et al. 2018. Nature Biotechnology).

If you are struggling, you should talk to your supervisor or graduate coordinator to determine if they can help you address the underlying issue. Speaking to your fellow students or any other member of the department with whom you are comfortable can also be a helpful first step. You can also make a same-day counselling appointment at the Dalhousie Health & Wellness Centre (see below). During the same-day counselling session, the counsellor will speak to you about your concerns, help identify your needs, suggest strategies to cope, and share campus resources. If you’re confused about what options would be most appropriate, you can also contact a nurse online at

Dalhousie University resources:

●      Appointments with counsellors at the Dalhousie Health & Wellness Centre - appointments can be booked by phone (902-494-2171), online, or in-person. Physicians at the Health & Wellness Centre can also help address mental health issues when they impact physical health concerns.
●      Typical health coverage includes $1000/year towards private practice psychology appointments outside of Dalhousie.
●      Dalhousie Medical Campus Response Team - provides an email address for responding to mental health-related questions at
●     Nova Scotia Mental Health Crisis telephone line provides active mental health support (902-429-8167 or 1-888-429-8167 [toll-free]).

●      GOOD2TALK - a confidential hotline for post-secondary students in need to talk to a trained mental health counsellor (1-833-292-3698).
●      Q-Life - an online course intended to develop resilience (typically $500, but free for Dalhousie students).
●      I. M. Well App - a confidential assistance program catered to international students and available in 180 languages. This program can be used for a range of services, including mental health counselling.
●      Group counselling sessions available for eating disorders, grief, meditation, anxiety, and resilience training.
●      Drop-in mental health peer support organized by the Health and Wellness Centre.

Mental health support from trained student peers (work-in-progress).

Other resources:

●      PhD Balance - a website with mental health resources and personal stories written by graduate students.
●      MindShift™ CBT - a free app from Anxiety Canada that can help manage and address anxiety issues.
●      Smiling Mind - a free app for learning and practicing mindfulness (i.e. meditation), developed by Australian psychologists and educators.
●      Call 811 for general medical advice in Nova Scotia (see: