Health and Wellness Q & A - Answers

Submitted Questions:

Mental health

I'm going into my third year this fall and had a question about mental health at the UM. I have struggled with mental health for a while and it impacted my first year at UM. I am working hard to boost my GPA so that I can apply to an honours program. I was wondering if there was any way I could have any of the weight of those grades changed with a mental health appeal? *

Hello, thank you for reaching out to the Health and Wellness Office!

For the appeal process, you will need to reach out to Student Advocacy. A student advocate will help outline the university's policies and procedures with you.

Student Advocacy
Phone: 204-474-7423

If you would like support in your future courses, Student Accessibility can provide you with the tools to foster success for your academic future. The process to register with Accessibility Services is outlined on their website.

Student Accessibility
Phone: 204-474-7423

If you wrote this question and would like more personalized information, please contact Britt Harvey, the Health and Wellness Educator. She is available to provide individual support to students through education, guidance and information on various health concerns/questions. You can contact Britt at 204-295-9032 or to schedule an appointment.

*Please note that this question has been paraphrased and edited to maintain anonymity.

Active living

Thank you for reaching out for information about active living! The Active Living Centre is currently closed along with Sport and Recreation facilities and programming. There are plans to reopen, however this timeline will be longer than the one proposed by the province. Check out Recreation Services’ website for updates and online services offered while the gym is closed or sign up for monthly emails:

Active Living Centre - 430 University Crescent
Phone: 204-474-6100

If you are interested in building healthy habits, check out the Health and Wellness page for information about overall wellness. Some of the health topics that are covered include: substance use, mental, social, physical and sexual health.

Feel free to reach out to:

Britt Harvey, Health and Wellness Educator is available to provide individual support to students through education, guidance and information on various health concerns/questions. You can contact Britt at 204-295-9032 or to schedule an appointment.

I got my first HPV vaccine shot on March 12, and the pharmacy store (University Centre) has my prescription. How can I get my second shot after two months?

Thank you for reaching out with your question. The University Centre Pharmacy is open during campus closure. Their hours are weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Due to COVID-19, they will not be administering vaccines until mid fall at the earliest. Contact the pharmacy for specific questions related to prescriptions.

University Centre Pharmacy
111 University Centre
Phone: 204-474-9323

For off campus vaccines, The University Centre Pharmacy is referring students to:
Bison Family Medical Clinic - 80 Bison Drive, 204-275-1500

You can also reach out to other pharmacies in the city to inquire about vaccines.

hello, the reading room in Flecher argue is missing paper towels. ther is a virus going around and people cant even dry their hands. or worse are useing a blow dryer wich scaters bacteria everywhere. its an unclean bathroom, we need paper towels. its unhygienic.

Hi there and thanks for your concern. You’re right, it is cold and flu season! However, the Health and Wellness Office does not have control over this matter. If you have concerns about bathrooms around campus and other questions about keeping spaces clean, try contacting Physical Plant ( on their website or by calling their operations and maintenance office at 204-474-6281.

For now, to keep yourself safer from the spread of bacteria and other illnesses and from spreading it to others, try the following suggestions:

  • Wash your hands regularly and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
  • Stay away from others who are sick with cold and flu like symptoms;
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow; and
  • Stay home if you have a severe cold or the flu.

I am very interested in doing volunteer in Healthy U the year of 2020-2021. May I please know the application deadline of this year?

Thank you for your interest in joining Healthy U for the academic year of 2020 – 2021. We start recruitment and interviews in spring (March/April). For more updates, follow the Healthy U Facebook page!

Manitoba Health Insurance

Thanks for reaching out about Manitoba’s health coverage! Manitoba will insure health care costs of doctor’s services that are deemed medically required for you and your dependants. This includes doctor’s appointments, surgeries and anaesthetics, and X-Ray and Laboratory services referred by a doctor.

Please follow this link to the provincial government’s website ( about Manitoba’s health coverage, how to apply for a Manitoba Health Card or change the information on your card and other information applicable to your question.

My occasional substance use is no longer occasional and although it is proving detrimental, I don’t feel I’m able to just stop on my own. What can I do? I’m worried about class, I’m worried about what others might think, I just feel like I don’t know what options I have. Do we have any policies through UMSU for this? Could I face an academic penalty for something like this?

It sounds to us like you’re going through a hard time right now and we appreciate you reaching out for help. Many students say they feel worried about what others would think and how this might affect their academic life too, so it’s normal for you to be reacting this way. Here are some confidential and free resources you can access on campus to get started:

  • Britt Harvey, Health and Wellness Educator is available to provide individual support to students through education, guidance and information on various health concerns/questions. You can contact Britt at 204-295-9032 or to schedule an appointment.
  • Healthy U provides information, education and a listening ear through peer-to-peer support. Healthy U volunteers are knowledgeable about on campus and off campus supports for various health concerns that face students year to year and can explore options with students on how they would like to proceed with what feels right for them. Visit 474 UMSU University Centre and ask the receptionists to see a Healthy U volunteer and they will get you set up right on the spot if a volunteer is available. For office hours, please visit the Healthy U Facebook ( or Instagram (@healthyuofm) page.
  • The Addictions Foundation of Manitoba has partnered with the Student Counselling Centre to offer specialized assessment and treatment for students with problematic substance use. Please contact SCC at 204-474-8592 and ask to book an appointment with the AFM counsellor, or drop in to the SCC, which is located at 474 UMSU University Centre, open Monday – Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm.

As for policies around problematic substance use, there are no designated policies disciplining substance use unless someone is violating provincial liquor or smoking laws or associated University regulations. However, if a student under the influence of substances creates a disruption or disturbance on campus they could be subject to discipline under the student non-academic misconduct and concerning behavior procedure. As for academic penalties, there are no specific penalties associated with substance use but all of the usual consequences for missing class, not turning work in on time, or failing to write an exam would apply.

Is there are place on campus to get tested for STIs for free?

If you are covered by the provincial health care plan under Manitoba Health, STI screening is free at any primary health clinic, including the University Health Service. You can visit the UHS website ( for more information, or can call them at 204-474-8411.

However, if you are an international student, you should contact your insurance provider to determine whether this procedure is covered by your plan.

There are also several options off campus you can visit for STI testing:

  • Klinic Community Health – 870 Portage Avenue, 204-784-4090
  • Nine Circles Community Health Centre – 705 Broadway, 204-940-6000
  • Women’s Health Clinic – 419 Graham Avenue, 3rd Floor, 204-947-1517
  • Mount Carmel Clinic – 886 Main Street, 204-582-2311
  • Youville Community Health Resource Centre – 845 Dakota Street, 204-255-4840

What is the cost for students to have counselling appointments at the Student Counselling Center (SCC)?

Thank you for reaching out with your question! The Student Counselling Centre (SCC) provides counselling services that are confidential and free of charge to University of Manitoba students at the Fort Garry campus and the Bannatyne campus. In order to see a counsellor, you must first schedule an intake appointment in person at the front desk or by phoning them at 204-474-8592. If you have any further questions about personal counselling or any of the SCC’s groups and workshops, visit the SCC website for more information.

Can I bring my own trainer to the gym?

Thank you for reaching out! Recreational Services offers many different kinds of services, including personal training and assessment. In reference to your question, anyone who is not employed by Recreational Services is not permitted to do any personal or group training within the gym. You may visit their website to discover their services in more detail, but if you have further questions about what is offered at the Active Living Centre, we encourage you to connect with them by phone or email!

Recreation Services
Active Living Centre - 430 University Crescent
Phone: 204-474-6100

Can a person expunge their grades with the u of m? My mental health has plummeted and its really taken a toll on my grades and my ability to go to class, since 1.) the medication I've been put on causes wicked side effects, and 2.) Just trying to go to class results in anxiety attacks in the parking lot. I don't know what to do anymore..

Thank you for reaching out! Many students have found that their mental health can seriously impact their grades and even their ability to attend class. We would encourage you to reach out to contact Student Accessibility Services, as they are well-prepared to help you with this issue. They will be able to talk with you and see what arrangements can be made.

Student Accessibility Services
520 UMSU University Centre
Phone: 204-474-7423

How can I volunteer?

If you are interested in volunteering with Healthy U, we usually start recruitment in early March. Keep an eye on our website and social media to receive updates! If you would like to be placed on an email notification list for when recruitment begins, contact

Volunteer opportunities such as Body Project and Bringing in the Bystander are not currently recruiting, but if you are interested in being notified about these you can reach out by email. Again, keep an eye on our webpage and social media for any updates!

Is there any reason for me to get tested for STDs before getting involved in a sexual relationship if I've never engaged in any sexual activity before?

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI's) can be passed from person to person through sexual activities such as oral, vaginal, or anal sex. Some can be passed on through blood in non-sexual ways, such as from sharing needles or getting tattoos or piercings.

If any of these activities apply to you, it's a good idea to get tested. If not, you likely aren't at risk - although if you're really concerned, getting tested won't hurt! Some people like to get tested before starting with a new partner just so they are sure they aren't placing their partner at risk. It's always better to be safe than sorry!

How to manage weight loss. if I am pure vegetarian, even not eating egg.

There are lots of ways to make sure you’re getting the right nutrition, even if you are vegetarian, vegan, or have allergies/sensitivities. While watching your weight isn’t the best way to tell if you’re healthy, a dramatic change in weight can tell you that you’re not getting what you need.

We recommend that when planning healthy meals, you use the Eat Well plate which can be found here:

If you’re not eating meat, make sure you get your protein in – you can try things like chickpeas, beans, tofu, or split peas. Find something you enjoy!

If you want to talk to a fellow student about healthy eating, Healthy U is available to chat! They have a great information package for you to take home, which includes how to choose healthy foods, mindful eating, and grocery shopping on a budget. You can drop by the Student Counselling Centre at 474 UMSU University Centre, or check them out online:

Manitoba has a program called Dial-a-Dietician. This is a free phone service where you can chat with a Registered Dietician about your nutrition concerns: 204-788-8248 (or call 1-877-830-2892 if you’re calling from outside of Winnipeg).

Are there options for free birth control somewhere on campus?

A great (and very common) question!

In terms of truly 'free' birth control options available at U of M, you'd be looking at condoms. External and internal condoms can be picked up for free from multiple locations on campus, such as:

  • Healthy U office hours or Health and Wellness Office (Student Counselling Centre, 474 UMSU University Centre)
  • Peers Office (150 UMSU University Centre)
  • Womyn's Centre (190 Helen Glass Centre for Nursing)
  • Rainbow Pride Mosaic (99 Helen Glass Centre for Nursing)
  • University of Manitoba Residence Life (120 Dafoe Road) & your Residence Advisor
  • University Health Service (104 UMSU University Centre)

If you are willing to go off campus, there are a couple of free birth control resources, depending on financial need, with more options than just condoms available to you (which is often what people want!) including:

  • Women's Health Clinic -located in downtown Winnipeg at 419 Graham Avenue, and easily accessible by transit.
  • Youville Clinic - Their teen clinic across from St. Vital Centre on Tuesdays from 4:00 - 7:00 pm is actually for individuals up to the age of 20 years old.

The next best option for birth control methods are those methods that may be free-of cost depending on your health insurance. One downside to insured birth control options is that some insurance companies will ask you to pay at point of purchase and submit an insurance claim receipt to them for reimbursement. If you're looking to keep this information private, this may not be the best option for you, as anyone (e.g. parents or family members) who has access to your insurance account will be able to see the prescription. So as an example, if you have insurance coverage through a parent's work, your parent would be able to see the insurance receipt claim made for the birth control.

If you're interested in hearing about some insured birth control options, keep on reading!

U of M students enrolled in the UMSU Health and Dental insurance plan will have insurance coverage for 70-80% of the cost of prescription medications. The remaining 20-30% may be covered by Manitoba Pharmacare, a prescription drug benefit program that Manitobans with a Health Card and U of M students enrolled in the Student Health and Dental Plan can enroll in for free. For more information, visit Pharmacare.

Insured birth control options include:

  • Most brands of birth control pill (oral contraceptives)
  • Hormonal intrauterine system (IUS): Mirena & Jaydess are covered by U of M and Pharmacare insurance. However, this method of contraception is still costs approximately $100 after insurance coverage, although it does last longer (up to 5 years).
  • The birth control injection (Depo-Provera)

As of 2016/2017, the birth control patch, the vaginal ring, and copper IUDs are not covered by UMSU insurance.

For more information on birth control methods and other healthy sexuality topics, here are some fantastic additional resources:

Feel free to drop by Healthy U Office Hours for more information and resources on birth control or other health topics!

The Healthy U Team

Where do students pick up their student health and dental coverage cards?

To receive a digital copy of your card, you can download the StudentCare app and create an account. Once you're logged in, select the menu “Pay Direct Card.” You will need to then press the arrow to view your card. We would recommend taking a screen shot of your card, so you don’t have to log in every time you want to use it.

To receive a paper copy of your card, you can visit and print out the “Pay Direct card” (PDF). You will need to fill in the blanks with your student number (do NOT include the 00’s at the beginning).

For help with any of this, you can visit the StudentCare booth on the 1st floor of UMSU University Centre (near the cafeteria).

If you are an international student, an e-copy of your Manitoba International Student Insurance Plan card should have been sent to your student email. To request a physical copy, visit

How do I get involved with Healthy U?

If you'd like to join the Healthy U team, we typically do our recruitment in the Spring. Please check the Health & Wellness website or Facebook account for updates!

If you'd like to keep up with Healthy U's events for the year, it's a good idea to follow their social media pages:

We look forward to seeing you around!