Personal Supports FAQs

Learner Life Specialists & Personal Counselling

01. What is a Learner Life Specialist (LLS)?

Learner Life Specialists provide short-term individual counselling, system navigation and support to learners on both the St. George and Mississauga campuses. Learner Life Specialists are trained mental health professionals, with graduate degrees in either social work, counselling psychology or occupational therapy. All services provided by LLS’ are at no cost.

The primary goal of the LLS is to support learners through their academic journey and to address a variety of issues such as stress, burnout, relationship issues and work/life balance.  

Learner Life Specialists use a variety of therapeutic lenses such as: trauma informed; anti-oppressive/anti-racist; and strengths-based approaches. They also use a variety of therapeutic modalities such as CBT, DBT, EFT, mindfulness, and solution focused therapy.


02. Is there a limit to the number of sessions?

OLA uses a short-term therapy model, up to 10 sessions are available per issue.
If longer term counselling is needed, the LLS will continue to provide support until there is a “warm handover” to a counselling service within the community.

03. What is the wait time for service?

Upon request an OLA staff member will connect with you within 1-2 business days.                                 
Appointments can usually be booked within 2-3 weeks.

04. Is the service confidential?

Yes, Learner Life Specialists follow the terms of confidentiality outlined within PHIPPA and FIPPA. There is no record of meetings with OLA on MedSIS/POWER, MSPR, or other learner related platforms.

Furthermore, all discussions within our team are strictly confidential. OLA provides a variety of services including consultations, referral services, short-term treatment, workshops, and support groups to learners at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine.  We understand that confidentiality is a significant concern for all learners. The information you share will not be released or shared without your permission and written consent except as the law requires.

Please note we are required to disclose confidential information if:

  • it is believed that you may be a danger to yourself or others
  • a minor is being physically or sexually abused or is at risk of being abused
  • a health professional has been sexually abusive to a client (including yourself)
  • a court of law subpoenas our records