Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 67.16
Liaison Mike Versteege
Submission Date June 24, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Alberta
PA-13: Wellness Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Sarah Flower
Manager, Health Promotion and Recognition
Human Resource Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a wellness program that makes counseling, referral, and wellbeing services available to all students?:

Does the institution have a wellness and/or employee assistance program that makes counseling, referral, and wellbeing services available to all staff?:

Does the institution have a wellness and/or employee assistance program that makes counseling, referral, and wellbeing services available to all faculty?:

A brief description of the institution’s wellness and/or employee assistance program(s), including information to support each affirmative response above :


The University of Alberta's Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) was first established in 1989. Regardless of benefits eligibility all university staff and faculty (including those working casual and hourly appointments) have 24/7 access to services regardless of geographic location. While face to face services are offered for the majority of services, individuals can request telephonic services or web services were possible. Access to EFAP also extends to their eligible dependents ad defined by the University's Supplementary Health Care plan. The program was enhanced in 2004 to provide a more proactive, holistic approach to health and wellness by complementing the counselling services with lifestyle and workplace support services.


The EFAP provides confidential professional counselling services for a broad range of personal and family problems, including but not limited to: substance use/abuse, anxiety, depression, health concerns, relationship and work related difficulties and family conflict. Services also include trauma care programs as well as an online CBT program, i-Volve, which is a self-paced program to address depression. With respect to psychological counselling services, faculty and staff have access the the number of sessions necessary to adequately and completely address their concerns; there is no pre-determined cap on services provided. However, services are solution focused in nature.


It was deemed paramount that the university provide services that would proactively assist staff members in addressing not only their counselling needs but could also be a venue for accessing more holistic lifestyle services. Lifestyle services encompass nutritional counselling, personal fitness training, career counselling, and financial as well as legal consultation. Financial counselling includes assessment, short-term consultation and referral when required. In addition, Plan Smart Services™ which include customized information packages and consultation, are available for New Parents, Childcare and Parenting, Elder and Family Care, Pre-retirement Planning, Shift Work and Life Development. Individuals also have access to the Health and Wellness companion, an on-line resource for health and wellness related articles and information.

Workplace Support Services

Whether an individual is a manager, supervisor or staff member experiencing difficulties with a supervisor, colleague, co-worker or subordinate, professional coaching and guidance is available by accessing the Workplace Advice Line. Trauma Assistance Services provide on-site support and follow up in the event of critical incident, trauma or victimization.

Lunch and Learns and Workshops

In addition to individualized services, lunch and learn sessions and workshops are provided. Topics range from stress management and mental health topics, through to relationships, lifestyle issues and life satisfaction. Newsletters, e-courses, and an electronic health and wellness resource center are also available.


The contract was amended in 2009 to include the Graduate Student Assistance Program to enhance the psychological assistance available on campus for our graduate students. The graduate student program offers 24/7 access and is modeled after the EFAP program. At the time of its inception, it was believed to be the first of its kind in Canada.


There are numerous programs and services to support the health and wellbeing of the university's students. A few examples are provided here.


Counselling & Clinical Services aims to provide accessible and compassionate psychological and psychiatric services to UAlberta students. Using a short-term therapy model, they provide free services to help students improve their personal, social, and academic wellbeing. They offer consultative services to the University of Alberta community, like opportunities for faculty and staff to consult with them regarding students of concern, as well as provide supervision and training to graduate students in psychology.


Free and confidential counselling and support for individuals affected by sexual assault, sexual harassment, relationship violence, or stalking.


The Healthy Campus Unit is a health promotion team working to support campus health and well being by creating a healthy campus community at the University of Alberta.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.