Counselling Services

Personal, emotional, and academic challenges are a common part of student life.   Counsellors provide a safe and confidential space for you to explore your concerns and work collaboratively with you to strengthen your ability to cope.  

On this site you can learn about the counselling support available to SM students, find out how to book a counselling appointment, and access helpful online resources to help you with your personal, career, and academic development.

Do you need after-hours support?


Here2Talk offers free, confidential counselling and community referral services 24/7 to B.C. post-secondary students. Access the services by the app, website or by calling: 1-877-857-3397 in Canada. If you are outside Canada,  dial +1-604-642-5212; international calling charges may apply.

KUU-US Crisis Line

KUU-US is an Indigenous, B.C.-wide crisis line offering culturally safe crisis response to Indigenous people at risk. The line operates 24/7:

  • Adults/elders: 250-723-4050
  • Child/youth: 250-723-2040
  • Toll free: 1-800-588-8717

Crisis Line

If you are considering suicide or are concerned about someone who may be, help is available.

You can reach out to the Suicide Crisis Helpline by texting or calling 9-8-8 from anywhere in Canada.

Request a counselling appointment

Meet the counselling team

Personal counselling

We offer short-term counselling related to personal,  mental health, career and academic challenges.  If you are experiencing depression, loneliness, anxiety, anger, substance abuse or any other type of personal issue, we encourage you to access our services.  No matter how big or small, your concerns are important and OC Counselling Services is here to help you.  If we feel you would benefit from support that is more specialized or longer-term than what we can offer, we will help connect you with a support service in the community.

Confidentiality is the cornerstone of the counselling relationship.  All communication and records are confidential. Neither the fact that you seek counselling, nor any information about the counselling sessions, will appear in your student academic record. If any individual or office ever wants to know anything about your counselling, you would have to sign a release of information form before this information is released (except in the rare circumstances noted below).

All communications between you and your counsellor will be held in confidence, except under the following circumstances: 

  1. If we have reason to believe that a minor (under the age of 19) is in need of protection.
  2. If we have reason to believe that a person is a danger to themselves or others.
  3. If a judge, coroner, ombudsperson, children’s commission and/or other such authorities order us to release records or to appear and provide information.
  4. If we have reason to believe that there is potential risk to an individual or to the broader college community. 

Your counsellor will provide you with more information about confidentiality before your initial counselling session. 


Counselling services are free of charge for all currently enrolled OC students. 

Currently enrolled OC students can access up to 10 individual counselling sessions over the course of a student’s OC course or program, with a maximum of 5 sessions per academic or summer semester (or 4-month period).

Session frequency is determined together by the student and OC counsellor dependent on:  the nature and complexity of the student’s presenting concern, student’s scheduling availability, the determination of the most appropriate therapeutic framework or clinical course of action, the student’s course/program length and/or semester load, and the availability of counselling services at the student’s preferred or “home” campus.

The wait time to meet with a counsellor varies throughout the semester, based on student demand and counsellor/campus availability.  During busy times (i.e. peak of the semester), it may take up to 2 weeks before getting in to see a counsellor for a regular scheduled appointment. 

Sessions are 50 minutes in length. If it is your first appointment, you may wish to arrive 10 minutes early in order to complete initial paperwork

We ask that you provide at least 24 hours’ notice if you need to cancel your appointment, so that we can make your appointment available to other students who are waiting for service. You can do so by contacting the Student services/Administrative front desk or by contacting your counsellor directly (either by telephone and/or email). 

If you are more than 10 minutes late for your appointment, it will be considered a missed appointment and you will have to reschedule to see your counsellor.

If you wish to reschedule, the new appointment will be booked within the wait-time parameters of that particular point in the semester.

OC counsellors are knowledgeable about the various academic accommodations available at the College, and are happy to review them with you.  Please note that OC counsellors do not typically contact instructors and are unable to sign a Request for Medical and Compassionate Withdrawal unless in exceptional circumstances.

Engaging in counselling is voluntary and counsellors do not report to referring individuals. Students have the right to refuse counselling at any time, or to refuse any particular intervention.

If you are a currently enrolled student at SM and have some concerns around personal issues, academic success or general career direction please make an appointment with a counsellor.

If you have questions about OC programs and courses, admission requirements or pre-requisites, please make an appointment with an Education Advisor.

Our counselling services are for currently enrolled and attending OC students only.  If you are not attending OC and would like to access counselling support, please visit community resources for a list of available community resources. 

Currently OC Counselling Services in Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton are open 8:30am - 4:30pm Monday to Friday.   Salmon Arm campus counselling is available Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 8:30-4:30pm.   

If you are seeking service after hours, Here2Talk offers free 24/7 counselling services to any student registered in a BC post-secondary institution.


Request an appointment

If you require immediate support, please access crisis resources.

Counselling services are available for students who are currently enrolled and taking Summer 2024 courses (including co-op programs). įIf you are not currently enrolled, we encourage you to access community resources. į

Due to limited availability of Counselling Services staff over the summer months, email response times may be delayed, and counselling appointment availability is limited in July and August. Our full Counselling service will be up and running in September.

If you have questions about OC programs and courses, admission requirements or pre-requisites, please make an appointment with an Education Advisor

Please note: the more availability you provide in your counselling request, the sooner we may be able to meet with you. 


KELOWNA STUDENTS: Please note that Nala the therapy dog may sometimes be present in the Counselling area. If for any reason you do not wish to have a dog present, your preferences will be prioritized.  We will ensure that the therapy dog is not present/visible during your session.

a picture of a black, white and brown dog with long hair and a friendly face

Kelowna students: please note that Nala the therapy dog may sometimes be present in the Counselling area. If for any reason you do not wish to have a dog present, your preferences will be prioritized. We will ensure that the therapy dog is not present/visible during your session.

Please check any that apply in terms of your preferences.

Therapy dog preferences
Are you currently enrolled and taking classes this semester?
Our counselling services are for currently enrolled OC students only.  If you are not attending OC and would like to access counselling support, please visit community resources for a list of available supports.
Are you currently residing in B.C.?
To access individual counselling appointments, enrolled students must be located in B.C. at the time of their appointment.  If you are currently enrolled at OC and are residing outside of B.C., please visit our resources page to learn more about available supports.

Due to limited availability of Counselling Services staff over the summer months, email response times may be delayed, and counselling appointment availability is limited in July and August.  Our full Counselling service will be up and running in September.

If you require immediate support, please access our crisis and community resources.


Counselling events or workshops

Event Type (field_event_type)
Event Audience (field_event_audience)
No upcoming events

Neurodivergent Connections Group (Kelowna campus)


Are you neurodivergent (diagnosed or self-identifying)? Are you looking for a safe, non-judgmental, fun place to belong and connect? Do you want to learn and grow your self-acceptance, self-knowledge, self-advocacy and more?  Do you want to learn to play on your strengths to meet your needs and goals?  Are you often masking to fit in? Would you like a place where you can play with unmasking in way that’s safe for you?

Counselling Services is offering an in person weekly Neurodivergent Connections group on the Kelowna Campus.

This is a CLOSED group, meaning you will be with the same people throughout the 8 weeks to provide consistency, predictability, and safety.

Info Session Date: Friday, January 12, 1:30-2:30 – A109 next to Continuing Studies

After the info session, you will be invited to schedule a one to one 20 min “Meet and Greet” with one of the facilitators to see if the group is a good fit for you  (required).  To learn more, please attend the info session.

Group time: Fridays 1:30-3:30

Group dates: Jan 26, Feb 2, Feb 9, Feb 16, Feb 23 (optional), March 1, March 8, March 15

Email: (“neurodivergent group” in the subject line)


Neurodivergent connections group

Counselling staff

The staff with Counselling Services is made up of professionals committed to serving students in a caring and competent manner. Individual counsellors have the expertise to respond to a wide variety of personal, academic and social issues faced by students during their academic experience. In addition, individual counsellors have some unique areas of expertise and interest which best enable us to connect with students in a way that is most helpful. 

Staff/Faculty concerned about a student:  If you are concerned about a student, and would like to connect a student to counselling support, please visit our resources for faculty and staff page for more information.

Our current Chair of Counselling Services is Sarah Lefebure. Please reach out to her for any general counselling inquiries. 

Kelowna staff

Jocelyn Carlson

Counselling - OC General
Campus: Kelowna

I am passionate about working with college students and helping students navigate through academic and personal challenges. I strive to create a non-judgmental and inclusive environment in sessions. I believe that students are the experts in their own lives and that my role is to walk along side students to help them gain the insight they need to achieve their desired goals. My therapeutic approach comes from a variety of modalities including Person-Centered, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy and Motivational Interviewing.

MEd (Counselling Psychology)
Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) #8860

Sarah Gray

Counselling - OC General
Campus: Kelowna

Welcome! I know that life is full of unexpected twists and turns, sometimes leading us down detours we never anticipated. These moments can be filled with possibilities and excitement, as well as uncertainty and discomfort. As a counsellor, I have a passion for helping individuals navigate these moments, finding greater clarity and purpose in their lives and cultivating a deeper sense of compassion for themselves and others along the way. Drawing on a diverse therapeutic modalities, I take a collaborative approach to sessions, aiming to support people wherever they find themselves.

Gaylene Turner

Counselling - OC General
Campus: Kelowna

I began my own journey with counselling in my 20s. At that time, I felt lost, alone, and facing what felt like unbearable challenges and losses in my life. At that time, didn’t have the emotional tools, skills, support, or knowledge that I could have benefitted from…and why I do this work. With the help of a counsellor, I began my own path of healing and growth. There have been unexpected gifts from the struggle, and there is hope. I am a testament to the process. 

College years can be an exciting time of self-discovery and exploration of the world. At the same time, it can be stressful and tumultuous. There are many decisions and directions to choose, navigate and manage.  

Helping people has been my lifelong passion, and through counselling services I’ve helped people recognize their strengths, nurtured their abilities to grow, and helped them heal themselves. 

Somewhat like a mountain guide, a counsellor can help point out things like dangers and shortcuts and which tools to use, how to use a map, when to rest and refuel, potential dangers of various routes, and general help along on your journey. I can’t walk your path for you or rescue you, but there are times when I can guide and assist you in how to help yourself. Often, we can even laugh together in a safe, comfortable, and confidential environment.

Registered Clinical Counsellor (BCACC 11874)

Lisa Sookochoff

Counselling Services
Campus: Kelowna
Lisa Sookochoff, Counsellor at SM

My approach to counselling is solution-focused, holistic and strengths-based.  My goal is for students to feel supported and understood, and to provide tools that they can use in the here and now.  I guide students towards a deeper understanding of themselves, so they can make healthy choices that move them towards their academic and life goals. 

MA (Counselling Psychology)
Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) #2786

Penticton staff

Sarah Lefebure Warriner

Counselling Services
Campus: Penticton

Chair, Counselling Services

Being a college student can be exciting and stressful!  I use a person centered, holistic approach to help students with a wide range of personal, career and academic challenges to support their well-being and academic success.  Our work together may help you to: develop insight; focus on healthy ways to deal with stress and care for yourself; try out new ways of thinking or interacting; and take steps towards positive change.   Special areas of interest for me are identity, self-esteem, grief and loss, supporting LGBTQIA2S  students, and mental health and well-being.

M.A. (Counselling Psychology with specific career focus)
Registered Clinical Counsellor (R.C.C.) #4596

Alysha Punnett

Counselling - OC General
Campus: Penticton
Photo of Alysha Punnett in front of a tree

Hello and welcome! I'm glad you're here. Being a student is a time of life transition, and navigating the uncertainties and unknowns of transition is naturally stressful. I'm here to listen to what is going on for you and offer understanding, perspective, and strategies and skills to support you when things feel overwhelming. I draw from a background in mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), neuroscience and the mind-body connection (somatic therapy).

Vernon staff

Natalia Mozol

Counselling Services
Campus: Vernon

Counselling can be a way to grow and gain self-reliance in a supportive environment. I approach therapy with a specific interest in supporting learners to develop resilience within their personal and academic lives – encouraging individual insight.

My goal is to create an accepting, compassionate and genuine space for students navigating change, challenges, identity and crisis. Our work will include an awareness of the impact of social and relational systems, trauma as well as the influence of culture. Drawing on intervention methods from positive psychology, attachment, mindfulness, systems theory, CBT, solution focused and experiential. Special areas of interest include: personal development/identity, dependency/boundaries, making meaning/existential, and grief work.

My counselling background includes supporting individuals within Education, Health Care, Accessibility and Mental Health systems.

MA Counselling Psychology
Certified Canadian Counsellor (CCC)

Salmon Arm staff

Samantha Johnson

Counselling Services
Campus: Salmon Arm
Samantha Blandon in a garden

Supporting students to navigate personal and academic challenges is work that I find very meaningful. I place great importance on providing a safe, compassionate and non-judgemental space for students to come for support and growth. I believe that everyone is unique, and my therapeutic approach draws on a mix of skills that meets the needs of each student including solution-focused, strength-based, mindfulness, and narrative therapy principles.

BSW, MACP (Counselling Psychology)
Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) #17928

Kelowna campus
Student Services Building (S111)


Vernon campus
Administration Building (A300)

Penticton campus
Ashnola Building (PL142)

Salmon Arm campus
Main Building (SA103)