This is a centralized location for information and links to wellness resources for the benefit of biochemistry graduate students. The page is curated by BWell, the student-run, department of biochemistry wellness initiative.

If you need help finding resources or would like to suggest a resource to be added here, please email us at bwell.biochem@gmail.com or fill out our anonymous contact form.

This page is up-to-date as of 06 October 2022.

Health Resources

Crisis Resources

  • If you are in immediate danger, call 911
  • Want to message someone and get an immediate response?
  • Need to talk to someone on the phone immediately?
    • Call Good2Talk at 1-866-925-5454
    • Call MySSP at 1-844-451-9700 (Outside of North America, call 001-416-380-6578)

UofT Resources

  • Navi – virtual agent to help you find the mental health resources you need
  • SGS GradHub Resources and Supports– collection of resources available to UofT graduate students, covering topics including, but not limited to:
    • Accessibility services and resources for all UofT campuses
    • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion on all UofT campuses
    • Indigenous students
    • International students
    • Students with family responsibilities
  • Health & Wellness Centre at UTSG, Health & Counselling Centre at UTM, or Health & Wellness Centre at UTSC – service for physical and mental health resources on campus including, but not limited to:
    • Personal health visits (check-ups)
    • Immunization, testing, and allergy care
    • Sexual and reproductive health counselling and education
    • Medical and disability documentation
    • Mental health clinical services including pharmacotherapy and psychiatric care
    • Individual, group, and same-day counselling appointments
    • Wellness programs and workshops
  • Student Mental Health Resources at University of Toronto – the comprehensive guide to the student-centred approach to care at UofT including:
    • Information on the comprehensive system that organizes treatments by intensity and by readiness to participate (from self-care to care from others)
    • Finding services and support such as workshops, counselling, etc.
    • Building a toolkit of skills to help you support your own mental health through books, podcasts, etc.
  • My Student Support Program (My SSP) – real-time and/or appointment-based confidential, 24-hour support for any school, health, or general life concern at no cost to you
    • Access by:
      • Downloading the My SSP app on the Apple App store or Google Play
      • Calling 1-844-451-9700 (Outside of North America, call 001-416-380-6578)
  • Temerty Faculty of Medicine Counsellors –  individual, short-term, confidential wellness counselling/psychotherapy virtually or in-person
  • Graduate Wellness Services at SGS – wellness counselling and wellness workshops specifically for graduate students
    • To book an appointment, call 416-978-8030 and select option 5
  • Health and Wellness workshops
  • Office of the Ombudsperson – provides an impartial and confidential service to assist members of the University who have been unable to resolve their concerns about their treatment by University authorities

Departmental representatives who will be happy to talk to you


I need help navigating…

This section will include how-to guides and step-by-step instructions on how to access and pay for health resources, manage situations that could arise in lab, etc. This will be continuously updated, and if you have any requests, ideas, or would like to help, please get in touch!

My relationship with an advisor/supervisor

Racial and sexual discrimination

Insurance policies

When trying to understand what medical insurance coverage you do or do not have and which plan to use, try consulting the student healthcare guide from UofT or look at the UTGSU website for more information.

Base Insurance Plans

All students (domestic and international) must have a primary insurance plan. Domestic students have the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), and for international students, the university provides the primary insurance through the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP).

  • Health care in Ontario
    • Book COVID-19 vaccination appointments
    • Apply for/renew OHIP card (for domestic students)
  • University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) – for international students
    • You will automatically be signed up for UHIP when you are enrolled and should receive an email from Cowan Group (which is the actual insurance provider for UHIP).
    • The main UHIP website can be found here
    • See what UHIP covers here
    • Important: be sure to print your UHIP card and keep it with you; you will need to present this along with an ID when at a walk-in clinic, ER, etc.

UofT Graduate Student Supplemental Insurance

All UofT graduate students are also automatically enrolled in the UTGSU (UofT Graduate Students’ Union) insurance policy. Comprehensive information about the graduate student supplemental insurance can be found at studentcare.ca. There, you will find information on:

  • Coverage details
  • the Studentcare Network, which is made of professionals who have agreed to reduce the cost of their services for plan members. This means that if the plan does not cover the entire cost of the appointment/procedure, the remaining cost that you need to pay will be less than at a non-network provider.
    • Always check the studentcare network first when looking for a pharmacy, psychologist, dentist, etc.
  • Group numbers and information on making a claim for
    • Health and dental coverage (provided by Green Shield)
    • Travel insurance (provided by Blue Cross Life Insurance Company of Canada)
    • Accidental death and dismemberment (provided by Desjardins Insurance)

International students, note that you automatically have travel insurance under the UTGSU supplemental insurance policy.

Students are charged for the supplemental plan, so you can unenroll from the supplemental plan or enroll dependents at the beginning of the school year. You will receive an email from UTGSU when it is time to do so.

CUPE3902 Top-Up Insurance

If you are a contract worker at the University of Toronto and hold a position as a typically a teaching assistant, invigilator, writing advisor, etc., you are automatically part of CUPE3902 Unit 1 workers union. CUPE3902 Unit 1 provides employees who work at least 30 hours with several benefits, including a top-up insurance plan (see Frequently Asked Questions for information about registering for and using the top-up). This plan is provided by Green Shield, and once you register, you will be able to view your coverage under the top-up plan on the Green Shield website.

Therapy

More information regarding counselling services, choosing a therapist, and insurance coverage for psychotherapy to be added

Non-work related set-backs and time off

Students are entitled to 15 days of personal time each year and can apply for a longer leave of absence along with a leave of absence stipend. You can find more information here.

More information to be added


Communities and Organizations

Communities on Campus

UofT consists of countless communities. Below are a few that could be of interest, and if you are looking for another group, try using your preferred search engine. Some groups may have websites that are not directly linked or registered with UofT.

Student-run Organizations

University associated groups are listed on the Student Organization Portal. Some groups that might be of interest to Biochemistry graduate students include, but are not limited to:

Wellness and Positive Spaces

Acknowledgement of Traditional Land 

We wish to acknowledge this land on which the University of Toronto operates. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.

UofT Land Acknowledgement


Educational and Other Resources

Communication and Conflict Resolution

External counseling and therapy resources

Financial help

  • SGS: Financial Aid and Financial Advising
    • Book an appointment for financial advice from SGS Financial Advisors
    • Available by in person, via email, or over the phone. Monday-Friday, 10AM – 4PM
  • CUPE3902 Unit 1 benefits – financial assistance

Getting involved with community-level wellness resources

Learning how to support others (individually)

  • Identify, Assist, Refer – 30-minute online training, teaching you how to recognize student distress, begin supportive conversations, and make effective referrals
  • LivingWorks START – 90 minute online educational program to recognize when someone is considering suicide and how to help
  • SafeTALK
    • 4-hour training session where you will learn practical steps to help activate a suicide alert, connecting people having thoughts of suicide with helpers who are prepared to provide first-aid interventions
    • Certificate & CCR provided upon completion

Meditation and mindfulness

Preparedness for the future

Sports/activities

  • UofT Outdoor club
    • Feel free to connect with others part of the outdoor club through Facebook and Instagram
  • UofT Come Sweat With Us
    • Run by UofT Sports & Recreation
    • Online workouts & meditation; join via zoom link
    • Schedule is on the website (scroll all the way to the bottom)