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The Case of University of Windsor & CMHA Windsor-Essex

After-hours counselling during exams

Partnership background

The relationship between the University of Windsor (UW) and CMHA Windsor-Essex has existed for 20 years and encompasses a variety of projects. This particular project took place during two exam periods (December 2018 and April 2019).

Why did they come together?

The University of Windsor recognized a need for after-hours counselling appointments for students at peak times. Due to a lack of capacity from the service providers on campus to hold after-hours appointments, UW partnered with CMHA Windsor-Essex to increase their capacity to provide support to students.

Partnership roles

The University of Windsor provided space for the counselling sessions and marketed the program to students. CMHA Windsor-Essex provided after-hours counselling staff.

Benefits of the partnership/program

  • An increase in the capacity of the campus to provide counselling services for students during peak times because of the increase in human capital.

Lessons learned

  • Program branding — some students were unsure if they were using CMHA services or campus services when attending the program. Furthermore, some felt that CMHA services were for students with higher needs, and therefore did not access these services. Clearer advertising of the program mitigated student uncertainty.
  • Promotion – the partners felt that starting the advertising earlier in the year would engage a greater number of students. The partners recommend solidifying partnership details early in the school year to maximize marketing time.
  • Year-round offerings — the partners felt that students would have the opportunity to become familiar with the counselling program and have more of a chance to access the after-hours crisis counselling started earlier in the school year. This way, students would be able to  attend after-hours counselling sessions before the stress of exams became too high.
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