About RRU Counselling
Life can be complicated. This is especially true when you are trying to juggle your life and your learning. We recognize that from time to time personal issues may arise that may have a profound effect on your life. To support you during difficult times, RRU offers free, confidential counselling and support. Students can access one-time support, or short-term ongoing counselling (usually up to five sessions). Counselling is provided in-person, over the phone, and via Skype.
Make an appointment
Please use one of the following options to book a counselling appointment:
- Book an appointment using our online booking system
- Phone: 250.391.2600, ext. 4515
- Toll-free: 1.800.788.8028 (please ask for "Counselling Services")
- E-mail: RRU Counselling
Please submit a Counselling Services Intake form (.docx) before or at your first appointment. Emailed submission is fine.
If you require an appointment urgently, or outside of the hours provided in the online booking system, please email us directly.
If you require immediate assistance, please consider:
- Empower Me - a 24/7 phone counselling service for undergraduate students who are members of RRU's Student Association: 1-877-234-5327
- Vancouver Island Crisis Line, a 24-hour crisis support response service: 1.888.494.3888
Who are our counsellors?
Sarah Chettleburgh is a Canadian Certified Counsellor with the Canadian Counselling & Psychotherapy Association. Sarah completed a Masters of Education Degree in Counselling Psychology in 2011, and has been working with Royal Roads University since 2012. In addition to her counselling work at RRU, Sarah has also worked as a career counsellor, internship advisor, instructor and team coach at the university. This varied experience has ensured Sarah has a very thorough understanding of the challenges and rewards faced by Royal Roads’ students.
Although she utilizes a variety of counselling approaches and theories to be effective, Sarah always holds the students’ individual needs at the centre of her work. Drawing on elements of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Narrative Therapy and Coaching practices, Sarah works collaboratively with students to ensure their goals are met in an effective and efficient manner. Open, approachable and encouraging, Sarah creates a warm and comfortable space for positive work and interesting conversation.
Gemma Fraser is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors and has a Masters of Education Degree in Psychology. She has a solid understanding of the unique RRU student experience, gained from her experience as a Counsellor and Academic Coach.
Using her varied experience, Gemma works with students to come up with a counselling or support plan to meet their individual needs. This sometimes involves Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy or utilizing Positive Psychology interventions. Sometimes it means just listening quietly and allowing students to talk freely about what's on their mind. In all cases, Gemma is highly motivated to ensure therapy is as efficient as possible and works collaboratively with students to ensure their goals are being met in a timely manner. Gemma is encouraging without pressuring, and her style is straighforward, warm, proactive and solution-focused.
Counselling Services also works with long-term contracted counsellors to ensure students find a suitable fit, and have access to appointments in the evenings and weekends when requested.
What kinds of services are available?
Our counsellors will discuss any range of topics, including but not limited to:
- Anxiety and stress management
- Family challenges/transitions
- Relationship issues
- Group dynamics and interpersonal skills
- Sexual or physical abuse/assault (Sexual Violence or Misconduct Protocol and Procedures for Students)
- Substance abuse and addictions
- Academic and learning challenges
- Time management
Letters of Consideration
We know that life creates unexpected stressful circumstances for students (e.g. loss of a family member/friend, family healthy issue, change in relationship, temporary high stress circumstances, etc.). In these temporary situations, a formal accommodation through Accessibility Services might not be suitable or necessary, but a student might require a little flexibility from their instructor(s) for one or two assignments to support their success for a short period of time.
In these cases, when a student accesses counselling support and is taking steps to ensure their success, RRU Counsellors might write a Letter of Consideration to support the student. Unlike a formal accommodation, there is no legal obligation to apply the recommendation but it’s a request for compassion within reason. These letters are written with the consent of the student, and discussion between counsellors, students and/or instructors might be helpful to come up with an appropriate plan. If you have any questions about Letters of Consideration, please feel welcome to get in touch with Counselling Services.
Resources for Students
- Test Anxiety - Anxiety BC
- Anxiety About Academic Writing: Writing is too hard - Emotional and Writing Strategies
- Mind your Mind - Wellness & Mental Health Resources for Young Adults
- Depression Hurts - Resources
- About Depression - National Institute of Mental Health
- The Science of Procrastination - 2.5 minute video
- Sleep Better