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 Marriam Abou-El-Haj, Registered Psychologist

 Manager, Student Health and Wellness


I have been working as a therapist since 2000, both in university and private practice settings. My experience includes counselling students with a variety of concerns, such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, body image, and study skills. 
I have a Master of Science in Psychology from California State University, Chico. I also have worked as a Marriage and Family Therapist in California. On a personal note, I grew up in southern California and moved to Halifax in January, 2006. 
To schedule an appointment to see me, you can contact our office at (902) 457-6567 or email

 Jillian Rankin, Counsellor

photo bio jill
 I have a Master of Education in Counselling from Acadia and a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Psychology from St. Francis Xavier Univeristy. I am a Canadian Certified Counsellor and a Registered Clinical Therapist Candidate. 
I have experience in counselling children, adolescents, and adults in various therapeutic settings since 2009. In the past, I have worked as an Academic Strategist for the Centre for Accessible Learning at St. Francis Xavier for 10 years. I am originally from Cape Breton, but have made Halifax my home. 
My counselling experience includes providing support to individuals who have experienced depression, anxiety, trauma, relationship difficulties, abuse, stress management, and study skills. 
If you would like to make an appointment, please contact our office at (902) 457-6567 or email

 Brandon Yeo, Counselling Intern


Hi folks! I am the Counselling Intern here at MSVU's Counselling Services. I am working to complete my Master's in Education in Counselling at Acadia University. I am a Mount alumnae with a degree in Psychology. My background is supporting adults with intellectual disabilities throughout HRM. 

I have a lot of experience with learning disabilities, anxiety/stress management, study skills, crisis situations, and depression. As a former Mount student, I know the campus pretty well and can help students navigate services. I also know what it is like to be a student here at the Mount and the challenges that arise. 

I am here for you! I love to help, I love to learn, and I am excited to be a part of the Mount community once again! Come and see me today!

Oscar, Volunteer Therapy Dog


Hi! I'm Oscar, the Mount's registered therapy dog. I am 8 years old and I have been working as a registered therapy dog for 5 years. I LOVE cuddles and being around people, going for walks outside, playing with my toys, and riding in convertibles.

On Thursdays you can find me in the Library for Puppy Power Hour from 2:00 - 3:00 pm!
Don't forget to follow me on social media!
Facebook: Oscar Vincent
Twitter: @OscarTherapy
Instagram: @OscarTherapy

Samantha Wright-Smith, Peer Support Worker


I am an NSCC alumnae and have been working as a Child Support Worker for the past year, in which time I have also transferred to the Mount to finish my undergraduate degree in Social Anthropology with a minor in Psychology.

I have loved being on the Mount campus and appreciate its close-knit community and friendly faculty and staff. I hope to eventually take Occupational Therapy and work with children, as well as continue my training in therapeutic horseback riding. I am very excited and humbled to be a part of the Peer Support team at MSVU, and I look forward to meeting new and returning students this year!

I can be reached at!

Lauren Ross, Peer Support Worker


Hi! I'm Lauren. I am 20 years old and a third-year Psychology minor. I am originally from New Brunswick but came to the Mount for the small class sizes and friendly atmosphere.
I work as a Pharmacy Assistant and a Research Assistant. I hope to go further with psychology and focus specifically on psychoactive medications and schizophrenia, and it's effect on memory. I am super excited to have the opportunity to be a peer support worker and I can't wait to meet more of my peers and help my Mount community!
I can be reached at!


In April of 2013 the Queen Elizabeth II received a generous donation from Fred and Elizabeth Fountain in honour of their late son who took his life after struggling with depression. Their gift funds the Stay Connected Mental Health Project which makes our Peer Support program at the Mount, possible.

Morgan (front right) and Lianne (front left) were our first Peer Support workers here at the Mount. Our Peer Support team works in collaboration with the Students’ Union and receives supervision and support from Counselling Services. Throughout the week, they hold drop in hours in the Wellness Centre after Counselling Services is closed for the day, giving students the opportunity to come and talk about anything that is on their mind, especially topics around mental health. In addition to drop in hours, several campaigns related to mental health and stigma take place throughout the academic year.  

If you have any questions or would like to access Peer Support, please e-mail

Team pic for CS website 

SCMHP group