Student Support & Wellness
Student wellness is an integral part of developing the whole person. Vancouver College offers various programs that support and strengthen student well-being. The Wellness and Learning Centres help students build social and emotional skills and assist those who may need individualized learning support.
We believe that normalizing asking for support and having more conversations around mental health, starting from Kindergarten through Grade 12, helps students build resilience to navigate the challenges they will inevitably face.
Leaving here a Better Man is the notion that they feel prepared enough to handle any notion of distress or know when they may need to ask for support.
Alex Huang (VC 2004), Director of Wellness
The Wellness Centre
The Wellness Centre is a safe space for students and community members to take a breather from the stress of the day and seek out health resources available on campus. The Centre works closely and collaboratively with various departments such as Physical Health and Education, Campus Ministry, and the Learning Centre.
The Wellness Centre offers personal, short-term counselling with a primary focus on fostering a relationship with students to understand their concerns, and to promote their health and well-being. Possible issues addressed in the Centre include depression, anxiety, stress, trauma, major life transitions, interpersonal difficulties, grief and loss. The Centre operates from a Stepped-Care model, meaning that the level of care "steps up" as the particular concern increases. Per academic year, each student is entitled to receive up to a maximum of 8 counselling sessions with our Director of Wellness, Mr. Huang. If more sessions are required or the specific nature of the concern exceeds the scope of the Centre’s practice, referrals to external resources will be provided. Please contact the Wellness Centre at VCWellness@vancouvercollege.ca if you have any inquiries/questions/concerns.
Privacy and Confidentiality
As we wish to ensure that every boy's privacy rights are protected, counsellors are required to keep information confidential or private. This means what students share with a counsellor cannot be shared without the student’s permission.
There are specific situations in which information may be shared with others, and they include the following:
- If we have reason to believe that a student has been abused (i.e., physically, sexually, or emotionally) or has experienced neglect.
- If we have reason to believe that a student might seriously harm themselves or someone else.
- If a court order or other legislation legally requires the counsellor to provide information.
- If the student gives permission to share the information.
- If there is a need to consult with another professional to provide the most effective counselling and support.
If you are experiencing a crisis which may include abuse, thinking about harming yourself or someone else or feeling very emotionally distraught, you need to speak with a professional immediately.
Please reach out to a staff member or parent you trust or Mr. Huang for support.
Online (E-mental Health) Resources
Centre for Clinical Interventions - This website provides self-help resources for a number of mental health issues/concerns. It provides a number of information sheets as well as activities to perform to help with addressing pertinent mental health challenges.
Wellness Together Canada (WTC) - Created by the Government of Canada in response to the intensified mental health concerns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, this resource can help individuals with a number of services, including basic wellness information, individual counselling, or group work.
BounceBack BC - This resource is for students ages 15+ and is designed to address “low mood, mild to moderate depression, anxiety, stress or worry.” Individuals connect with a coach for sessions either online or over the phone in order to build up skills to manage mental health concerns.
Anxiety Canada - This resource provides individual and families across all ages with information and helpful aids to address the issue of anxiety.
YMCA Vancouver Mindfulness Groups - This resource offers a free, seven-week mental wellness program that is delivered across BC. The program supports teens ages 13-18 experiencing mild-to-moderate anxiety or stress.
Foundry BC - Foundry is a free service offered for individuals ages 12-24 and their caregivers for drop-in or scheduled virtual counselling appointments. Individuals can also access peer support, as well as participate in a group or find information on potential tools and resources.
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy - Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is an approach that can help individuals develop helpful skills to address their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, as well as to work on interpersonal relationships. This resource provides information and possible strategies for teens to learn and to incorporate into their day-to-day life.
BC Children’s Kelty Mental Health - Kelty Mental Health is a resource dedicated to assisting families and caregivers navigate the BC mental health system, connect with peer support networks, as well as to access resources and tools to promote health and well-being.
- YouthinBC (available Noon to 1am in BC and the Yukon only) - Online chat support if you, or someone you know, is in need of emergent/crisis support
- Crisis Centre Chat (available Noon to 1am in BC and the Yukon only) - Online chat support if you, or someone you know, is unable to cope or thinking about suicide.
- Youth Space 24/7 Access (by chat) or 778-783-0177 (text) - Youth Space is an online crisis & emotional support chat service.
Telephone and Chat resources
- The Crisis Centre 24/7 Access (by phone): (604) 872-3311; 1-800-784-2433 - Call if you, or someone you know, is unable to cope, having thoughts of suicide, or if you are unsure of where to turn for help in a crisis. Services are available in multiple languages and available to individuals 24/7
- Mental Health Support Line: 310-6789 (no area code required) - Call if you, or someone you know, is unable to cope, having thoughts of suicide, or if you are unsure of where to turn for help in a crisis.
- Kids Help Phone 24-Hour Line: 1-800-668-6868 - Call and speak with a professional counsellor if you need immediate help and/or support, or are unsure of where to turn for help.
- Substance Use and Support: 1-800- 663-1441 or 604-660-9382 in the Lower Mainland - Call for support in relation to drugs and/or substance use.
The Learning Centre
Vancouver College has developed The Learning Centre (TLC) to support students learning. TLC assists learners with diverse needs through collaboration between students, staff and families to help each student succeed.
If your son requires TLC support, please meet with our TLC teachers and submit the exceptional learning profile document upon registration.
Services Provided by the TLC
Academic Resource Options
- Option to take a study block emphasizing curricular support and mentoring in staying organized, time-management, and study skills.
- 1:1 tutoring support after school Monday through Thursday.
- Support with various subjects such as language, math and reading.
- Individual/small group subject matter tutoring and peer mentorship.
- Support with self-advocacy, executive functioning, and growth mindset.
- Classroom accommodations as appropriate based on documentation/student needs.
- A subscription to Google learning tools, IXL, and other online learning tools.
- Access to a registered psychologist (limited availability).
- Social thinking groups.
- PATH planning for transitioning to teen and adult life, depending on the age and stage of the student.
Support Provided by the TLC
The TLC provides the following but is not limited to:
- A consultation with Vancouver College families for at-risk and underachieving students.
- Referrals to testing resources for documentation and diagnosis.
- Individual student support and conferences, as needed for TLC students.
- Liaison between parents, students, and faculty regarding student needs.
- Faculty resource for information on learning differences and classroom strategies.
- Assistance by TLC in applying for appropriate accommodations from College Board and the ACT and Canadian Post-Secondary institutions.
Individual Education Plan (IEP) Accommodations (for Elementary, Middle, and Senior Schools):
Through the development of the IEP, Vancouver College helps define the level and nature of reasonable accommodations provided to students in both the classroom and TLC. The student's IEP accommodations are based on student needs, documentation, and the availability of Vancouver College personnel and resources.
The Learning Centre in our Elementary School provides a supportive, individualized learning environment per the Ministry of Education's Special Education Policy and Individual Education Plans (IEPs).
The classroom teacher, resource teacher, and education assistant work closely and collaboratively, following the goals and objectives in the Individual Education Plan. We work with students within their classrooms and bring them into TLC for regular small group sessions.
Vancouver College has developed The Learning Centre (TLC) to support students' learning through various programs.
Please contact Ms. Paige Skinner, Resource Teacher, for more information.
Middle and Senior School
The Learning Centre supports students with documented exceptional learning profiles. Vancouver College recognizes the responsibility to provide a learning environment that fosters growth and considers the individual needs of all students per the Ministry of Education's Special Education Policy and Individual Education Plans (IEPs).
Referrals to TLC are by Administrators, teachers, parents/guardians or student self-referral. To be considered for admission to TLC, a psycho-educational assessment must be completed and be current. Psycho-educational diagnostic services are available through registered psychologists. Vancouver College does not provide educational diagnostic testing services. The TLC Director may be contacted for assistance with private testing referrals.
For more information, please contact:
Cliona Ryan-Glennon, Director TLC
Trixie Cruz, Learning Resource Teacher
Community engagement and investment in the common good can take many forms. Peer Mentorship is a volunteer program which supports building awareness and character and is often a strong predictor of university success. Mentors will increase their ability to take other perspectives and care for a diverse group of individuals. They strive to Be Better Men who think about helping rather than doing for others.
For students who want immersive, sustained, authentically chosen, powerful learning experiences. Activities as a peer mentor might deepen your understanding of yourself and help you figure out who you are and want to be.
In a 10-month commitment, from September through to June, selected candidates will receive training in supporting students with various learning profiles. The work is very personal, either in a small group setting, a classroom or working one-to-one with a student, from Kindergarten through to Grade 12.
Peer Mentors receive full-service hours and reference letters for scholarships and admissions to universities and post-secondary institutions. Reference letters are specific to the individual, their initiatives and the depth of his learning experience.
Grade 11 students may sign up for peer mentorship online during course selection or contact TLC (The Learning Centre) teachers directly.
The Peer Tutoring program provides academic support in specific subjects. Under the supervision of The Learning Centre, qualified student volunteers dedicate their time and effort to assisting students who support with their academic performance. Our peer tutors create a welcoming space that encourages students to seek the academic support they need.
Research shows that front-loading subject matter before a class and reviewing with personalized peer support enhances learning and improves grades. The program's success greatly depends on the participants' commitment level and the tutee's motivation and intention to come prepared with material and goals for each session.
If a student or a tutor needs to miss a session, he is to give reasonable notice (24 hours via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Students can miss a maximum of two sessions without notice. If the student misses more than two sessions without notifying, he could lose his spot and be placed on the program's waitlist.
We strive to accommodate everyone. However, we have limited capacity due to the centre's space and the number of tutors available during the school year. Parents will be contacted directly with further details when a student registers and has been placed in a session.
Students (not tutors) must bring two cheques for $25. The first cheque covers the yearly fee, which includes our appreciation lunch. The second cheque is an attendance deposit cheque that will be returned at the end of the school year if the student gives proper notification to both his tutor and the program when he needs to miss a session.
Peer tutoring will be cancelled during exams, early dismissal days, or other special events. Please refer to the school calendar for these details and updates.
Find a Peer Tutor
To find a Peer Tutor, click here to apply online.
Expectations of Students:
- Arrive on time and prepared with books, worksheets, etc., for your session.
- Your application must include two $25 cheques.
- The student must not cancel any more than two planned sessions without notice (24 hours notice via email to The Learning Centre).
- If the student misses two sessions without reasonable notice (24 hours), the partnership could be terminated, and the tutor could be reassigned.
- Please note that your $25 chequest will not be returned as this fee covers the Peer Tutors' appreciation gift/lunch.
- Please understand that on early dismissal days for Senior School and during exams, Peer Tutoring will be cancelled.
Please refer to the school calendar for these details and updates.
Be a Peer Tutor
If you are interested in becoming a peer tutor, click here to apply online.
Expectations of Peer Tutors:
- Tutors must attend the peer tutoring orientation session before they begin.
- Tutors must commit to one 50 min. session every week.
- Tutors are requested to show up on time and notify when they are unable to attend a session. Please copy the peer tutoring program on all correspondence.
- Tutors and their parents will be contacted with the details, once they are assigned to a session.
- Tutors must sign in for every session as a record for service hours.