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New Counselling Options at Victoria for BIPOC Identifying Students

Dec. 15, 2020

Victoria University is pleased to announce a new, mental-health support and resource in partnership with Health & Wellness at the University of Toronto. As of December 8, 2020, Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) identifying students at Victoria will have access to a full-time, BIPOC counsellor. This new position was created after extensive consultation with equity groups at Victoria (especially the Victoria Black Student Network- BLVCK), VUSAC (Victoria student government), and with BIPOC students in the Dean of Students’ Advisory Committee. In keeping with the Presidential Priorities of Victoria University and with recommendations of the Presidential and Provostial Mental Health Task Force at the University of Toronto, we are pleased to introduce Shawnette Thompson.

Shawnette Thompson is a Canadian born, Afro-Caribbean, registered social worker, speaker and group facilitator. Thompson utilizes a harm reduction-based approach in her practice and work with students. Her understanding of trauma includes an in-depth understanding of the impact of racial trauma. She approaches therapy from a non-judgmental, anti-oppressive, integrative clinical model of practice, which embraces and explores the full spectrum of personal identities, including, but not limited to, ability, cultural, gender, sexual and class diversity, with an emphasis on intersectionality.

Starting on December 8, 2020, Thompson will be available to Victoria BIPOC students for online counselling by phone or secure video. She is also available to students across U of T, as her schedule permits. We encourage Victoria students wishing to book a session with Shawnette Thompson to contact staff in the Office of the Dean of Students directly by e-mailing or by contacting Health & Wellness at 416-978-8030 (select option 5).

Students who identify as Black, Indigenous and/or racialized can also request to meet with a counsellor who also identifies as part of those communities and can relate to racism and mental health through U of T MySSP at 1-844-451-9700 or 001-416-380-6578 for outside of North America.

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