Mental and Sexual Health

As an international student, you will be tasked with juggling a variety of stressors: you will be adjusting to the changes of a new environment, adapting to a new culture, and keeping up with the demands of your courses. You will be away from your home, and in many cases your family; it is not unusual to feel stress, anxiety, or homesickness during your stay here. It is important that you take the time to look after your mental wellbeing. Be mindful of your mood and do not hesitate to seek out support if you find yourself struggling.

There are resources available at the University to help you overcome your challenges. We encourage you to visit us often at the International Centre to speak with our Advisors. They are happy to help you smooth your transition into Canadian lifestyle and navigate the steps to studying abroad in Canada. If you are suffering from mental health issues such as anxiety or depression, you can consult with the Mental Health Team at the Health Centre or utilize Counselling Services, which are available to all students free of charge.

If you are sexually active or plan to become sexually active, we encourage you to educate yourself on all aspects of sexual health in order to keep you and your partner(s) safe. Sexual health encompasses a number of issues, such as:

  • Contraceptive methods/birth control/pregnancy prevention
  • Prenatal care
  • Prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections
  • Consent

The University of Lethbridge Health Centre will be able to provide you with information and resources on the above topics and more. Additionally, you may wish to consult with your family doctor, or there are services available in the Lethbridge area to assist you with your sexual health needs, for example:

  • Lethbridge Sexual Health Centre

Lethbridge Professional Building, Suite 300

740 4 Ave. South, Lethbridge, T1J 0N9

403-320-0110

Consent is key to establishing healthy sexual relationships. The University of Lethbridge policy on Sexual Violence defines consent as: an active, explicit, ongoing, voluntary, unimpaired and conscious choice and agreement to engage in specific sexual activity. Consent applies to all forms of sexual activity, from kissing and fondling to sexual intercourse. If consent is not given, it is a case of sexual assault. In Alberta, a person is not considered legally able to give their consent if:

  • They are unconscious, under the heavy influence of alcohol or drugs (regardless of whether or not the person in question voluntarily consumed the alcohol or drugs), or otherwise incapacitated
  • They have been coerced, pressured, intimidated, bribed, or threatened
  • They are under the age of 16, or under the age of 18 if the sexual partner is in a position of authority (such as a teacher, coach, guardian, etc.)

It is important to note that consent is an active concept; an absence of a ‘no’ does not imply consent—only a ‘yes’ qualifies as consent. Consent may be given or withdrawn at any time before or during the sexual activity. Furthermore, consent must always be obtained regardless of pre-existing relationship or sexual history. Consent applies universally to all persons regardless of gender or sexual orientation.