Anxiety and depression

Anxiety and Depression are among the primary reasons why university students seek counselling. During this stage of life, students experience many firsts, including new lifestyles, different academic responsibilities, managing finances, new relationships, and exposure to new cultures...etc.

Sometimes students may find these adjustments to be overwhelming and can be susceptible to developing depression and anxiety if certain risk factors are present. The good news is that anxiety and depression are both very treatable conditions with the proper supports.


Many of us experience stress, fear, and worrying from time to time. This is a natural response to perceived threats, life adjustments, and/or feeling under pressure. Anxiety triggers our internal alarm system: the “flight, fight, freeze” response, which affects our thoughts, emotions, physiology, and behaviours.

Sometimes this internal alarm system can get triggered even when there is no real danger or threat. Anxiety then becomes problematic when we stay in a prolonged state of intense worrying and fear, and this begins to disrupt our daily functioning.

Learning grounding techniques and coping strategies to deal with the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of anxiety can help you to better manage day to day.


Depression is a mental illness that goes beyond just feeling sad. While there are different levels of severity, depression is generally a persistent feeling of despair, hopelessness and/or numbness that significantly affects the way someone thinks, acts, and feels. Depression can decrease motivation, adversely affect appetite and sleep habits, lower energy levels, and create an overall bleak outlook on life.

Campus resources

The UNB Peer Support Centre is a group of dedicated and trained student volunteers who provide welcoming, confidential, and empathetic peer-based support to students at the University of New Brunswick.

Online therapy based groups at UNB Counselling Services

Road to Resilience: This group will be open to students experiencing a range of common difficulties such as anxiety, depression, stress and interpersonal challenges. The group will operate from a strength-based lens with a focus on belonging and resilience.

Beyond Breathing: Mindfulness is defined as a state of open attention to the present moment. So, how might this type of awareness be helpful during periods of anxiety or difficulty? This online group will explore various mindful qualities and practices, specifically geared towards creating more calm during times of stress and uncertainty.

The Student Health Centre, located in C. C. Jones Student Services Centre, hosts a team of qualified Physicians, Nurses, a Nurse Practitioner, a Dietician, a Psychiatrist, and an Orthopedic Surgeon who help support the well-being of UNB and STU Students experiencing various health concerns, including challenges related to mental health. This can include an assessment, ordering bloodwork or more extensive testing, writing prescriptions, referrals to specialists such as a Psychiatrist, and other relevant services.

Community resources

Fredericton Addiction and Mental Health Services at Victoria Health Centre offer therapy groups and interventions for a variety of presenting issues. One of these programs is Systems Training for Emotional Predictability and Problem Solving (STEPPS) and is particularly helpful with learning emotion regulation skills and building up distress tolerance. For more information about services offered, visit their website or call 506-453-2132.

Canadian Mental Health Association offers programming around issues such as anxiety and depression. Currently, they’re offering wellness webinars and workshops that you can access directly on their website. For more information on other services offered by CMHA, please call (506) 455-5231 or e-mail

Virtual resources

TAO (Therapist Assisted Online) –  includes over 150 brief, effective, educational sessions covering over 50 common topics and skills related to mental health, wellness, and substance use issues. TAO includes interactive sessions, mindfulness exercises and practice tools all aimed at helping you achieve your goals. 

Therapist Aid provides grounding techniques to help diffuse anxiety and other types of emotional distress.

CCI (Centre for Clinical Interventions) provides a collection of psychoeducational sheets and worksheets on topics like excessive worrying, health anxiety, and social anxiety. 

Anxiety Canada is an informative resource page with a variety of supports specific to Youth. Learn more about facing your fears, healthy habits, and much more. 

Self Compassion - At times we can be our own worst critics by placing harsh judgement on ourselves. Learning how to befriend ourselves in times of suffering is an important part of healing.

Visit ViaLearn (Via Institute on Character) to learn more about the positive traits of your personality, your values, and unique character strengths. is a youth driven non-profit organization dedicated to challenging stigma, reducing barriers, and raising awareness about mental health. is a library of cognitive behavioural therapy based self-help resources including worksheets, MP3’s, information on various mental health challenges, and healthy coping strategies.

Succeed Socially is a collection of education and self-help articles addressing social anxiety and social skills development.

Visit Wellness Together Canada to get connected to mental health and substance use support, resources, and counselling with a mental health professional. 


  • Mindshift CBT
  • Woebot
  • MoodFit
  • MoodMission
  • Mood Kit
  • Happify
  • Sanvello
  • notOK
  • Calm
  • Headspace


  • Calming the Emotional Storm by Sheri Van Dijk
  • Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma by Peter Levine
  • The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
  • Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom by Rick Hanson
  • The Presence Process: A Healing Journey into Present Moment Awareness by Michael Brown
  • Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence by Daniel J. Siegel
  • The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel A. van der Kolk
  • Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff
  • Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self Compassion by Elisha Goldstein