Counselling & Wellness

If portage counselling services are unavailable and you are experiencing distress, please call the Kids Help Line, 24 hour counselling service for Post-secondary students 1-800-668-6868. If this is an emergency call 911.

Portage College students can access counselling services for free, 8:15 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday, except holidays. 

Help is available for personal and career counselling as well as mental health support, gender-based violence and sexual violence support & prevention.

Counselling and Wellness Intake form

Portage College Student Mental Health Well-Being Strategy

Gender-Based Violence/Sexual Violence

Virtual counselling sessions are available to students, here's how:

  • Contact the counsellor of your choice and supply your email.
  • The Counsellor will send you a "Microsoft Teams" meeting invitation.
  • You can download the app on your device and then simply "join" the meeting.

211 Essential Service

What is 211?"

211 is an essential service that helps Albertans find the right resource or service for whatever issue they need help with, at the right time. 211 is available 24/7 by phone, text and chat. The service is free, confidential and available in over 170 languages over the phone. On a national level, 211 connects people to the right information and services.

AHS Mental Health Resources: During COVID-19

More COVID-19 Mental Health Resources

Student Quick Guide - Click to download pdf

Counselling Services


Lac La Biche Campus
Frances Stewart
Office: 780-623-5578 or Cell: 780-404-1439

Debbie Jansen
Mental Health Support Worker
Office: 780-623-5544 or Cell: 780-404-4733

Please note: An Alberta Health Services Mental Health Therapist is available to students, appointments can be made by calling: 780-623-5230.

Cold Lake Campus & Region
Alanna Ansell
Mental Health Support Worker
Office: 780-639-7159 or Cell: 780-815-0873

Penny Vasseur  
Cell: 780-573-7128

Office hours: Monday and Tuesday 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. 8:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

St. Paul Campus & Region
William Gill
Office: 780-614-6347 or Cell: 780-815-1424

24/7 Helplines:

For emergencies, call 9-1-1

Addictions Helpline, 1-866-332-2322

Alberta Mental Health Helpline, 1-877-303-2642

Crisis Services Canada, 1-833-456-4566, or text 45645

Family Violence Info Line, 310-1818

First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Helpline, 1-855-242-3310

Income Support Contact Centre, 1-866-644-5135

Kids Help Phone, 1-800-668-6868 or text 686868

211 Essential Service, Call 211

Additional Resources:

Alberta Works, 1-877-644-9992 (7:30 am – 8:00 pm)

One-Line for Sexual Violence , 1-877-403-8000 (9am-9pm, call or text)

Trans Lifeline, 1-877-330-6366 (8:00 am – 2:00 pm)

Personal counselling and mental health services are confidential and available to all students.

Counselling provides an opportunity to explore issues in a supportive and non-judgemental environment. Students seek help for a variety of issues such as; dealing with stress, personal relationships, feeling isolated or depressed and bereavement to name a few.

Sometimes coping with one or more of these stresses can prove to be overwhelming. Our professional student counselling staff are here to help!

Mental Health Resources

Helpful Mental Health Apps List

Anxiety Disorders - Canadian Mental Health Association

Depression - Canadian Mental Health Association

Gender Unicorn - Trans Student Educational Resources
LGBTQ Resources - The Lifeline Canada Foundation
What Does LGBTQ+ Mean? - KW Counselling Services

Mental Health
General Mental Health Resources - Psych Central
Self Help Resources - Centre for Clinical Intervention
Mindful meditation exercises brought to you from TalkLife.

Sexual Abuse
Local Support for all Campus Locations - The Dragonfly Centre
Men & Sexual Abuse - 1in6
Sexual Violence: Support & Prevention

Smoking, Drinking, Drug & Other Addictions
About Addiction - Centre for Addiction & Mental Health
Alcohol Addiction, Get the Facts - National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism
Caffeine Use Information - Centre for Addiction & Mental Health
Cannabis Use - Centre for Addiction & Mental Health
Get the Facts About Cannabis - Government of Canada
Information about Drugs - Centre for Addiction & Mental Health
Low Risk Drinking Guide - Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse
Smoking Cessation - AlbertaQuits

All members of Portage College community have a right to work, study and live on campus in an environment that is free from any form of gender-based violence or sexual violence. For help and support visit our Gender-Based Violence/Sexual Violence Support page.

The Mental Health Support Workers are excited to bring you the Community Helpers Program. The Community Helpers Program aims to build a strong and supportive campus community by providing participants with the skills and knowledge to help individuals who are experiencing mental health challenges or others who may be in crisis. The intent of this program is to provide support for students and foster connectedness.

Sign up for the Community Helpers Program

Instructions for Signing Up

Classroom Workshops are tailored to meet the specific needs of students. Past workshops requested by instructors have included: relaxation techniques and anxiety reduction. These in-class workshops are a terrific way to engage students and are tied to some of programs offered at the College.

Lunchtime workshops in the Library will be offered on demand. They provide information and support to students in a peer supported environment. Previous topics have included relaxation techniques, stress management, anxiety and anxiety reduction.

Workshops and Sessions can be tailored to student or instructor program needs.

Career Planning

  • Academic and Educational Counselling
  • Career Cruising
  • In-depth Career Search
  • Interest Inventories
  • Interview Skills
  • Job Search Techniques
  • Resume Writing

Session Topics

  • Time Management—Learn tips on how to juggle school expectations with family responsibilities.
  • Conflict/Anger Management—Acquire skills to resolve conflicts, deal with feelings of anger, and improve communication.
  • Assertiveness—Learn communication skills that promote respect for self and others, and help to express one’s needs and wants.
  • Relaxation—Learn how to cope with stress through relaxation and refocusing.
  • Job Search Techniques—Learn how to identify skills, look for work, complete a job application, write a resume and cover letter, as well as prepare for an interview.
  • Personality Exploration—Colour Spectrum and Personality Dimensions-Comprehensive. Understanding the personality types of others’ and awareness of their own can provide insight for careers, work relationships, and learning styles.
  • Grief and Loss Workshop—Offer an opportunity for individuals or groups to debrief about various topics or events in a safe and non threatening atmosphere.
  • Loneliness and Depression—Moving away from home can be an adjustment for students, this workshop gives students skills and strategies to help them focus on school and make that transition.
  • Anxiety—Strategies for reducing anxiety are shared.

Please call 780-623-5578 to schedule a workshop or session.

One of the most exciting but sometimes difficult decisions a student faces is making a career choice. Our career counsellors can help facilitate career planning through discussion, exercises and testing that will help students with the process.

Here are some resources, services and tools to assist you in planning for your career and employment.

Alberta Learning & Information Services (ALIS)
Dig deeper into the career of your dreams by getting the details on what you can expect to be doing on a daily basis.

Career Cruising
This site has it all! Explore your interests, learn about different careers, explore education options and find jobs.

Certification Requirements for Occupations
In Alberta, some occupations are governed by law. To work in these occupations, certification may be required. To learn more visit this site.

"What is 211?"

211 is an essential service that helps Albertans find the right resource or service for whatever issue they need help with, at the right time. 211 is available 24/7 by phone, text and chat. The service is free, confidential and available in over 170 languages over the phone.

On a national level, 211 connects people to the right information and services.

We acknowledge that Portage College’s service region is on the traditional lands of First Nation Peoples, the owners of Treaty 6, 8 and 10, which are also homelands to the Métis people. We honour the history and culture of all people who first lived and gathered in these lands.
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