First stops at McGill: Where to look for the help you need

McGill is infamously large and impersonal, and students must adjust to a certain level of independence. Some students make it through four years without ever going to see their advisor. Although many students may feel that they can do it all themselves, there are a lot of services available at McGill for when you just need a little help. Here are a few first stops, right in time for the Fall final season:

Service Point: 

When in doubt, go to Service Point. Front desk personnel and a series of advisors can handle any administrative task you can throw at them. Whether it’s a new ID card;  documentation, such as proof of enrolment, diplomas; or official transcripts, Service Point should be your first stop. The staff can provide information on tuition and fees, approve late course withdrawals, and point you towards a different advisor if they can’t help you themselves.

Where: Service Point is located on the ground floor of the McClennan Library, now accessible by McTavish or through a hallway beside the language lab in the library.

McGill Student Health Service:

For a drop-in appointment on weekdays, students should line up as early as possible in front of 3511 Peel. Doors open at 8:00 a.m., and appointments fill up quickly. In the afternoon, the staff typically continue to accept appointments, but only to see nurses. The clinic closes at 4:00 p.m., so aim to have your emergencies earlier on in the day, if you can. Bring your student ID and health care or insurance card.

For non-emergencies, call 514-398-6017 on the 15th to book an appointment for the upcoming month. To get help after hours, call Info-Santé at 8-1-1.


McGill Nightline’s phone lines are open from 6:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. every day, and provide free and confidential listening, information, and referrals for students. Volunteers are trained in non-judgmental, active listening. Beyond providing crisis services, the hotline welcomes all kinds of calls, and fields requests for everything from directions to advice on take-out menus and medical referrals.

To reach Nightline, dial (514) 398 MAIN (6246).

McGill Scholarships and Student Aid Office:

The SSAO aims to help all students manage their finances and help fund their education. It provides information for governmental aid on provincial, national, and international levels, and offers financial aid on the bases of both need and merit. It administers McGill’s work-study program and offers information about a wide range of awards, as well as tips for money management, loans, and dealing with financial emergencies.

Visit the SSAO every weekday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Brown Student Services, suite 3200 or call 514-398-6013.

Shag Shop:

The Shag Shop is McGill’s source of information on sexual health issues. It provides inexpensive sexual health resources and contraception, and answers questions in person and online through an anonymous question form, ‘Ask Dr. T’ (

When and where: The Shag Shop is open 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. It is located on the third floor of the Brown Student services building, and is accessible through 3600 McTavish or by 3511 Peel.

McGill Legal Information Clinic:

The (LICM) is a volunteer service run by law students and provides information on most areas of provincial and federal law, excluding criminal and tax law or large construction contracts. Volunteers can only provide general information and cannot give counsel, but they do provide referrals to community or legal organizations. The LICM is a good first stop for students who want to know more about how to handle a possibly delicate legal situation.

LICM is located on the first floor of the SSMU building, and is open 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesdays.


The Sexual Assault Centre of McGill Students’ Society (SACOMSS) offers support, advocacy, and outreach for survivors of sexual assault. SACOMSS also runs a help-line, support groups, and a series of training sessions, as well as offers contact information for counselling services and health clinics in Montreal.  It’s non-judgmental and entirely volunteer-run, and is located in the basement of the SSMU building, in room B-27.

To contact SACOMSS, visit their offices, their website (, or dial (514) 398-8500.

Counselling Services and McGill Mental Health:

Technically two separate entities, McGill Counselling and McGill Mental Health both offer support to McGill students. Counselling Services is staffed mostly by counsellors and psychologists, while the Mental Health staff is composed largely of psychiatrists, who typically handle more serious cases and prescribe medication. An Intake Counsellor can direct students who are unsure of what sort of help they need, to the right place.

Intake service is open from noon to 4:00 p.m. in room 4200 of the Brown Building. Counselling Services are open for drop-in weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the same location, and Mental Health reception is open 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., room 5500.

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