It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, unsure, or off track while you’re in law school. The first thing you need to do is: take a deep breath.
Then review the steps below to get the support you may need.
Step 1 – Connect and Engage
Reach out for support to family, friends or a volunteer at the Osgoode Peer Support Centre. It’s been proven that just being around someone you trust can have a positive effect on your state of mind. Even though they may not have been through law school they can still listen.
Engage with some favourite activities or seek some new experiences like working out, writing, dancing or going to a comedy club. You can also come out to the weekly Yoga at Osgoode or check out some of York’s recreation programs in the Tait McKenzie Centre. You may not think you have time for this, but it’s an investment in your well being that will make you more productive and happy.
Step 2 – Mindfulness
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a scientifically proven simple technique to help you focus on the present moment.
We spend so much time thinking over stuff that has happened in the past, or worrying about things that may happen in the future, that often we actually forget to appreciate or enjoy the moment. Mindfulness is a way of bringing us back to experience life as it happens. When you’re mindful, it helps you to:
- clear your head
- slow down your thoughts
- slow down your nervous system
- cope with stress
Where can you learn Mindfulness?
- Happify – a Youtube site with some great videos including Meditation 101: A Beginner’s Guide Animation
- JustBalance.ca – a site designed specifically as a wellness resource for Canadian law students
Where can you go to meditate at Osgoode?
Osgoode has a Student Wellness Suite which is a quiet space for students to relax, meditate, and seek calm in the midst of daily stress. The space can be booked for use by current Osgoode Hall Law School students Monday through Friday (excluding holidays and/or university closures) between 8:30am and 4:00pm.
Step 3 – Identify the Best Support Service
What is really at the heart of your emotional state? Is it related to an academic situation? Are you worried about getting a job? Or, perhaps it is an ongoing concern, such as depression, stress or anxiety? Osgoode can help you with these.
Accommodations and Other Supports
If you have anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress or another mental health concern, you may want to consider registering for academic accommodations.
- Visit the Accommodation page for more information on classroom or exam accommodation
- Contact the Programs & Records Office in Student Services for information on:
- examination deferrals
- assignment extensions
- petitions and grade reappraisals
The Associate Dean, Students provides individual academic counselling and skill development sessions on note taking, exam preparation and writing.
Contact the Career Development Office through My Career to get help with:
- resume & cover letters
- interview preparation
- job search
Mental Health Counselling
Students who are experiencing extreme or ongoing stress, depression or anxiety have a few options for counselling. Deciding on which is right for you could depend on availability, location and cost. In addition to the resources below, visit the JustBalance.ca site for a more complete list of on-campus and community services.
Good2Talk is Ontario’s 24/7 post-secondary support line to talk about anything on your mind, receive crisis counselling or referrals to other support services at your university or in the community. Call 1-866-925-5454.
York University’s Personal Counselling Services has two on-call professional counsellors Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. They will see you within 20 minutes of arriving if you are in crisis. Go to N110 Bennett Centre for Student Services or call 416-736-5297.
If you have concerns about your immediate safety or the safety of others, call 911 to request that they attend or visit your nearest emergency department.
Homewood Health offers no-charge, confidential and professional counselling to Ontario judges, lawyers and law students. There are many options for counselling available, including at the downtown office, or with a private therapist closer to where you live. Call 1-855-403-8922 or visit myassistplan.com to sign up for counselling services and other resources. There is no waitlist.
York University’s Personal Counselling Services provides free professional counselling to all York students including Osgoode. You should sign up early in the academic year to avoid a waitlist. If you are placed on a waitlist, you can get interim support at Homewood or through Good2Talk.
Student Success & Wellness Office at Osgoode. Short-term confidential, no-charge professional counselling is available for stress, depression and anxiety. To book a mental health counselling appointment and learn more about our counsellors, visit the appointment section of MyCareer.
TIRP Low-Cost Therapy will help you find a high quality therapist who is a good match for you and who charges a fee you can afford.
Students can connect with a family doctor at Appletree Medical Centre in York Lanes to discuss their mental health and ask to be referred to psychiatric care. Additionally, CAMH offers 24/7 emergency psychiatric care at 250 College Street in downtown Toronto.
For emergencies you may also contact:
- TeleHealth: 1-866-797-0000, TTY 1-800-387-5559
- call 911
- proceed to your nearest Emergency Room