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Wellness Office

Welcome to the culturally sensitive and respectful wellness support services at FIC.  The staff at FIC are aware that health and personal circumstances impact learning and we want to support you during times of crisis and need. We are pleased to offer you counselling and case management services that focus on your personal health and well-being while you study with us. We recognize that, as international students, you often have unique needs and challenges as you enter adulthood and transition to life in Canada and navigate college/university – all aspects of life that may be unfamiliar and challenging.  We strive to recognize that racism, discrimination, sexism, homophobia, stigma and other forms of oppression all play a role in mental health and well-being and we will view your struggles within a larger systemic framework.

We also believe that it is part of the human condition to have struggles, experience pain and hardship, so let us know if something is troubling you. We talk a lot about mental health in Canada and what we really mean is your overall physical, mental, emotional, social, financial, academic, and spiritual health. We can help you with the following: anxiety, depression, mood, relationships of all kinds, dating, sexuality, identity, difficult emotions, interpersonal conflict, parental pressures, self-harm, suicidality, substance misuse, academic struggles and much more!  We can also help you to support friends who are struggling or if you have experienced or witnessed a traumatic experience.

Please contact us at FIC.Counsellor@fraseric.ca  if there is something you are concerned about and would like to check it out with someone who will hear you and give you a respectful space to explore what you are experiencing.  We look forward to connecting with you.

*Please note that our services are confidential and will not impact your studies or your transfer to SFU in any way at all!

Counselling

As an international student, you may be unfamiliar with the human service of counselling. You may even believe that your struggles are not serious enough to see a counsellor or you may believe that seeing a counsellor means there is something wrong with you. However, your struggles are a part of the human experience and it does not mean there is anything wrong with you. We all need some guidance and support in our lives and asking for help is a strength, not a weakness.

Counsellors are compassionate listeners who can offer new perspectives, ask questions, and guide conversations to help you gain insight into yourself, your relationships, and the world. Counselling is a unique relationship between you and your counsellor that allows you to explore your emotions, thoughts, behaviours, needs, values and life experiences in a safe, non-judgmental space. When you are actively participating in the counselling process, it can help you improve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health.  Counsellors can help you develop your strengths and skills to encourage positive change, personal growth, improved relationships and also academic success.

Case Management

The Case Manager provides support for students to manage and grow through painful and difficult situations. Students may need help with concerns around mental health, coping with intense and difficult emotions, improving academics, and navigating losses/grief and all kinds of relationships.  The case manager can also offer in-depth discussions about identity, sexuality, suicidality, self-harm, violence (including sexual violence) and more.

The Case Manager will learn about you and your needs and ask questions to create a personalized support plan with you with goals that you wish to achieve for your growth and well-being. A support plan may include problem-solving, crisis support, linking you with other resources and services, providing advocacy on your behalf and much much more. It may also just be about having a safe space to express yourself and learn about life.  Case management also includes advocacy services to help you understand and stand up for your rights as an international student and human.  The case manager can help you navigate the learning institution and the larger systems that can be full of inequities or barriers that hinder access to services or good quality services.

Academic Accommodations

Did you know you can get support to access your learning if you are experiencing any distressing or extenuating circumstances in your life (such as death of a loved one or friend, an accident or injury, a break-up, etc)?   You can also get academic supports if you are neurodiverse, have been diagnosed with a learning disability or psychiatric disorder that impacts your learning and ability to focus on your studies (such as dyslexia, ADHD, ASD, bipolar disorder, BPD, etc).  The case manager will meet with you and review your situation and needs and support you with academic accommodations, withdrawals and deferred exams to improve your access to learning and academic success.

FIC Art Group

Nadina Dodd, FIC Case Manager, offers a weekly 2 hour expressive and creative ART GROUP every semester.  It happens on the 3rd floor of FIC in room 3004.  Come check it out!  It is an amazing relaxing and safe space.  The group is offered to all students but limited to 15 participants.  Look out for the details on the website and events calendar and see the posters at FIC.

Creating art will give you the opportunity to express yourself, explore some important personal themes, have some fun, and connect with other students.  We have paint, oil and chalk pastels, collage materials, felts, pencil crayons, colouring books, glitter, fabric, paper and canvases and much more for you to experiment and have fun with!

At the beginning of the group we focus on creating a safe and mindful space for everyone that respects decisions to share or not share your artwork with other group members.  The plan is to collaborate with each other to create a group that will be beneficial for our health and well-being. You are welcome to work on your own projects but Nadina always brings interesting ideas and activities for you to engage in.

Please note that you DO NOT need to know how to make art already and you DO NOT need to know how to draw – the group is non-competitive and we DO NOT evaluate our artwork nor do we try to make masterpieces!  Making art in this group is all about the process and how it helps us connect to ourselves and our experiences, emotions, and thoughts.  Of course, if you do have artistic skills, that is great too! And if you do want to learn some art techniques, Nadina is an artist herself and can help you.

Snacks and drinks will always be provided.  Nadina looks forward to welcoming you to the group.  You can contact her directly at nadina.dodd@fraseric.ca if you have any questions.

Location

FIC Wellness Office

2nd floor, Rm 2111 & 2112 at Discovery 1 building, 8999 Nelson Way, Burnaby

*Please note: wellness office services are currently being offered online via video chat, in person or by phone.

We respectfully acknowledge that the FIC Wellness Office conducts all its activities on the stolen ancestral territories of the səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) First Nations.  We recognize the resilience of indigenous peoples in Canada who have been fighting and resisting racism, violence and oppression for more than 500 years.

Resources

On-Campus

  • SFU Health & Counselling: Maggie Benston Centre, ground floor, tel: 778-782-4615 (mental health nurses, doctors, psychologists, counsellors)
  • SFU Interfaith Centre: AQ Rm 3200. tel: 778-782-3180 (spiritual/religious supports)
  • SFU Sexual Violence Support & Prevention Office: 1301 West Mall Centre (WMC).   https://www.sfu.ca/sexual-violence/get-help.html, tel: 778.782.7233, sv-support@sfu.ca
  • SFU Out on Campus: SSFU Rotunda, TC314-N, tel:778-782-5933, ooc@sfss.ca, sfss.ca/ooc (LGBTQ2S+ supports)

Off-Campus/Online

 


Our Team: 

Nadina Dodd (MC:AT, RCC) is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and Art Therapist

Hello, lovely students! My name is Nadina and my pronouns are she/her.  I lead the Wellness Office at FIC and have been supporting international students for almost 7 years. I have a Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology with a specialization in Art Therapy and am Registered as a Clinical Counsellor (RCC) in  the province of BC. My job title at FIC is “Case Manager” and I provide both counselling and case management support to international students.  On a personal note, I love making art, playing guitar and singing, dancing, being in nature, connecting with people in meaningful ways and playing with my puppy 🙂 I will strive to create a respectful therapeutic relationship with you and work with your strengths. I will do my best to respect your culture and examine the systems of oppression or discrimination that exist around us. I hope to help you live authentically and I will strive to listen non-judgmentally, explore creative solutions, challenge you, ask the right questions to help you understand yourself better, and offer a fresh alternative perspective. We will decide together the most suitable path for your wellness and growth.


Kelly Chang (MA, CCC) is a Canadian Certified Counsellor

Hello, my name is Kelly. I am a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC). I hold a master’s degree in Counselling Psychology from City University of Seattle. I am currently a second-year doctoral student at a Behavioral Sciences program. My role at FIC is a counsellor at the Wellness Office. One of my favorite quotes is “shame dies when stories are told in safe space.” As a counsellor, I aim to provide students with a safe and confidential space to explore, learn, and thrive.

I am passionate about working with individuals from a variety of backgrounds and believe that diversity is something to be celebrated. With a passion for social justice, and rooted in a strengths-based, collaborative approach, I see my work as an opportunity to join with others on their journey to discover all that they already are, and to further support them to become who they would like to be. It is my honour and privilege to bear witness to both the tough and tender moments along the way.

On my free time I enjoy baking, playing board games, and hiking with my dogs. I look forward to meeting you and being part of your FIC/SFU journey.

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