Waterloo Residences acknowledges that we live and work on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg, and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes ten kilometers on each side of the Grand River.
We are here to support your experience as a university student. Even in the best of times, balancing your academic and personal responsibilities can be challenging and struggling with your mental health or wellness is normal. Remember that you are not alone! The resources below can help you choose the support you need.
Mental Health Resources
IN RESIDENCE RESOURCES
Residence Life Don – First-Year Communities
Dons are upper years that live with you in residence, and they have first-hand experience of the highs and lows of university life. Dons are trained in Emergency First Aid and mental health crisis response. Talk to your Don when you need:
- Support transitioning to campus and university life
- Emergency assistance, including for a mental health crisis, for yourself or a friend
- Help meeting others in the community
Talk to your Don by knocking on their door or contacting them by email. If you are not sure who your Don is, email email@example.com.
Residence Life Don – Upper-Year Communities
Dons are upper-year student leaders who live in residence and support upper years. Dons are trained in Emergency First Aid and mental health crisis response. Talk with your Don if you are:
Struggling to find balance or managing the challenges of university life
Managing stressful responsibilities, like job-hunting, personal finances, or grad school apps
Looking to make connections and meet people in residence
Talk to your Don today by knocking on their door or contacting them by email! If you don’t know your Don, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Residence Life Don-Graduate and Family Communities
Dons are grad student leaders who live in Columbia Lake Village (CLV) and support the CLV Graduate & Student Family Community.
Dons are trained to get you the help you need.
Talk with a Don if you are:
Managing stressful responsibilities, like research, job-hunting, or personal finances
Struggling to find balance or managing the challenges of grad school
Connect with a Don today by attending a virtual community event. If you don’t know your Don, visit or call the CLV front desk.
Duty staff are available overnight from 8PM-8AM, 7 days a week. Duty staff receive extensive training in crisis response, including supporting students through mental health emergencies. Call a duty staff at any time overnight if:
You or a friend in residence needs any type of emotional or medical support
You need to talk to someone about anything at all, including feeling lonely, homesick, or unsafe
Call the Duty Staff numbers posted in your community, or you can call from your Front Desk.
The CLV Don on-call is available from 8 p.m. – 8 a.m. every day and can be reached at 519-500-3037.
Residence Life Coordinators
RLCs are full-time professional staff on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Some of them live on campus and are available to respond quickly.
Your RLC is trained to support you with any level of emergency, including mental health support. You can meet with your RLC for any reason at all including:
- If you need support gaining access to resources on campus
- If you are finding yourself struggling to maintain balance and self-care
- If you feel unsafe for any reason
Your RLC is happy to listen. Send them an email. If you’re not sure who your RLC is, email email@example.com.
Front Desk Assistants
FDAs are upper years that work at the Front Desk of every residence building. They are trained to be your one-stop-shop for getting access to any support you need. Talk to an FDA when you need:
- Information on accessing a campus resource
- Help with personal or academic stress
- Support with any level of emergency
FDAs are great listeners, and they love when students pop by the Front Desk with questions. Visit your Front Desk or view their contact information here.
Counsellor in Residence
Counselling support is available to help you monitor, manage, and maintain a balanced life. Our Counsellors in Residence meet with students from all over campus in both of their office locations: MKV Residence and Needles Hall. Consider accessing Counselling Services at Needles Hall if you are looking for:
Individual counselling appointments (one-on-one)
Drop-in counselling (no appointment required on Wednesdays and Thursdays)
Urgent crisis counselling (no appointment required any time)
Personal success workshops on coping with anxiety, depression, or stress
To access any counsellor, you must first register on main campus at Needles Hall. Talk to your Don or visit Counselling Services today if you have questions.
ON CAMPUS RESOURCES
As a university student, you may spend a lot of time on academics, co-op, or research. However, making time for some positive wellness habits is just as important and can actually improve your performance. We know this can be difficult due to COVID-19 and social distancing.
Here are some resources to keep yourself well:
- Register for an e-sports tournament
- Watch this "What is self-care and how do I practice? (video)"
- Stay active and engaged with Warriors Athletics and Recreation; there's something for everyone, such as intramurals, online fitness classes, and health webinars
- Take a mental health training (such as QPR, More Feet on the Ground)
- Book an individual Counselling Appointment with Counselling Services
- Attend an online group or workshop (offered through Counselling Services)
- Take the Health Services Self-Assessment
- Find out about the next Thrive Week events
- Check out our Virtual Activities Library
Other Resources and Information:
Personal Crisis Help
For immediate help, know that there are free, local resources ready to help. In case of emergency, please reach out to any of the following:
University of Waterloo Police
Kitchener-Waterloo Sexual Assault Support Centre
Available 24 hours, 7 days a week
Crisis Clinic at Grand River Hospital
1-866-925-5454 or 211
Counselling Services Mobile Crisis Team
Available 24 hours, 7 days a week
Telecare Distress Line
Available 24 hours, 7 days a week
Waterloo Region Sexual Assault Treatment Centre
Kitchener-Waterloo Distress Line
Safety in Residence
We know that a significant factor in enjoying your academic and personal university experience is feeling safe where you live. Our staff is consistently working to update our spaces, policies, and supports with your safety in mind.
Here is a list of a few things we’re doing to keep you safe:
- Residence Safety and Security Infrastructure Advisory Committee (RSSIAC) comprised of members from Housing, the Safety Office, and Campus Police, uses student feedback to improve our spaces. They also conduct biannual safety walks to identify possible safety issues around all our residence buildings. These issues are addressed promptly (e.g., lights that need to be replaced along walkways)
- After Hours Maintenance team to inspect and repair our facilities as needed
- An annual Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) audit conducted annually
- On-call residence staff (such as Front Desk Assistants, Dons, and other student staff) trained to manage crisis situations. Someone is always on call 24/7.
COVID 19 Updates
- Single bedrooms for everyone
- 2:1 bathroom sharing ratio where possible
- Plexiglass shields in major community hubs and Front Desks
- Touchless faucets, toilets, and doors
- Foot-operated elevators
- More than 250 new hand sanitizer stations
- Frequent disinfection of high-touch surfaces and common areas
Ways that you can help keep our community safe:
- Follow latest public health guidelines
- Report unsafe conditions in or around our residence buildings to a Housing staff member
- Do not prop doors open or allow people into residence if they are not personally known to you.
- If you lose your keys, notify your residence Front Desk immediately
- Download the WatSAFE app to your personal mobile device for quick and convenient access to campus safety and emergency resources
- Download the Campus Check-in tool, which supports contact tracing if a COVID-19 case is identified on campus.