EmpowerMe: Student Assistance Program

call 1-844-741-6389 or see campus wellness

Mental Health Services for Students

WUSA is excited to partner with StudentCare — a leading provider of student health plans in Canada, serving over 900,000 students — to launch Empower Me, a Student Assistance Program designed to support mental health and wellbeing. EmpowerMe was built in collaboration with UW Campus Wellness and the Counselling Services Department to fully integrate off-campus student resources with on-campus offerings. This new program provides a full suite of mental health services and resources that are customized for students and complement current offerings by UW Campus Wellness. Students can access support online, by phone, or in-person all across North America.

What is Empower Me?

Empower Me is a mental health and wellness service that seeks to contribute to a resilient student community by helping you and your eligible spouse/dependants. 

You will be connected to a trained counsellor - the person answering is not an operator, administrator, or receptionist.

Integrated with On-Campus Resources!

WUSA has worked closely with UW Campus Wellness to ensure that EmpowerMe is fully integrated with Counselling Services to provide a one-stop, customized array of campus resources that contribute to a resilient student community. Through a "warm handoff" referral method, campus counselors will share information with your consent with counselors within the Student Assistance Program, and vice versa. This allows for better case load management, reduced wait times, and allows Counselling Services resources to support those most in need. No matter where you start — through EmpowerMe or at Counselling Services — you can get the support you need!

Services & Support

No issue is too big or too small, and interactions are confidential. Request support in your preferred language for:


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Gender identity
  • Crisis
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Grief
  • And more


  • Mild substance abuse to severe dependency
  • Alcohol
  • Drugs
  • Smoking
  • Gambling & gaming
  • And more


  • Debt & credit
  • Financial planning after graduation
  • Budgeting
  • Savings planning
  • Life insurance
  • And more

Pressure & Stress

  • Personal
  • Academic issues
  • Time management & organization
  • School/work/family/personal life balance
  • Adjustment to new living conditions, a new city, or a new country
  • And more

Relationships & Family

  • Relationships
  • Interpersonal conflicts
  • Common-law
  • Family difficulties
  • Parental coaching to help a child with a learning disability
  • Sexual abuse & domestic violence
  • Parenting & children
  • And more


  • Healthy eating
  • Weight management
  • Meal planning
  • Management of dietary restrictions (medical-related or self-imposed)
  • And more

Connect with Empower Me

Call the 24/7 helpline at 1-844-741-6389 (toll free) from anywhere in North America and ask your counsellor for support in your preferred language.

The first time you connect, a counsellor will determine the severity of your issue and plan a course of action with you. 


When should students use Empower Me?

Empower Me is a short-term, solution-focused counselling service available 24/7, 365 days/year. Students can call the 24/7 helpline (toll-free) from anywhere in North America for immediate crisis support. Scheduled appointments in person, by phone, by video-counselling, or by e-counselling are also available in Canada only. The service connects students to a trained counsellor — the person answering the phone is not an operator, administrator, or receptionist.

All counsellors hold at minimum a master’s degree in Social Work, Psychology, or a related counselling field. All counsellors must also have a membership in good standing with their respective professional boards.

Students can get support for issues of any kind, such as relationships, family care, depression, anxiety, addictions, stress, time management, conflicts, career orientation, financial planning, nutrition, and much more.

What will happen during a student’s first call?

During the initial conversation, a counsellor will determine the severity of the student’s issue and plan a course of action with them. To do this effectively, the student will be asked some basic questions, such as their contact and demographic information.

Immediate assistance is always available to students. If they are not in immediate need, a counsellor will contact them within 1-2 business days to schedule their first appointment.

Which students are eligible for Empower Me and will they have to pay an additional cost for the service?

Empower Me is a WUSA/GSA service, which means that all undergraduate and graduate students and their eligible spouse and/or dependent children can access the service and receive counselling sessions in person, by telephone, by video-counselling, or by e-counselling.

If students need a referral, every effort will be made to work with them to find an appropriate resource. However, any potential costs incurred outside Empower Me may not be fully or partially covered.

How many sessions can students receive?

Empower Me is a short-term, solution-focused counselling service. While some individuals may only need 1 or 2 sessions, others might require more. Each issue is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and there is no maximum. The number of sessions is determined by the student and their counsellor. Long-term or severe cases will be referred to alternative resources better suited to deal with these types of cases.

Is Empower Me confidential, and how is students’ personal information used or shared?

Confidentiality is of utmost importance. Students’ conversations will remain completely private, within the limits of the law. All Empower Me counsellors adhere to a strict ethics code and are accountable to their respective professional associations.

Can students access help in another language?

Yes, Empower Me offers support in multiple languages by phone. Students can simply ask the counsellor for support in their preferred language and the counsellor will momentarily place them on hold to connect their call and include a translator. The average wait time to connect is less than 1 minute.

After the first call, should a student wish to have counselling conducted in a language other than English, they can indicate this and Empower Me will make the appropriate referral. Please note that face-to-face counselling may not be available in the language students request. However, alternative modes of counselling can be used in their desired language.

Should students use Empower Me if they think their problem is too serious or not serious enough?

Students can always contact an Empower Me professional—no issue is too big or too small. Empower Me counsellors can help prevent a problem from growing, or direct students to additional professional assistance.

Empower Me also offers a full suite of academic life services, such as career orientation, financial planning, nutritional counselling, and more.

What if a student feels that they don’t have a good fit with their counsellor?

Sometimes, there may not be a good fit with the counsellor to whom a student was referred. Students are always welcome to call back and request a referral to a different counsellor.

For More Information

Visit www.studentcare.ca for complete details.

You can also download assistance tools through the iAspiria mobile app by entering "Studentcare" as the Login ID and selecting "Student" from the drop-down menu.

Get it on Google Play  Available on the apple store

Brought to you by:

Student Care, Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association, and University of Waterloo graduate student association logos