McGill initiatives to support Turkey and Syria 

Student groups and other members of the McGill community are rallying together to support victims of the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria

McGill community members are rallying together to support Turkey and Syria following a devastating earthquake and series of aftershocks on February 6, 2023. Extensive damage, loss of life, displaced survivors, and cold winter weather conditions have contributed to the humanitarian crisis, requiring urgent international aid.   

Donations are being collected for survivors in the area, and support is also available for the many McGill community members impacted by this tragedy. 

To donate or get involved, there are several ongoing initiatives at McGill:  

  • The Turkish Students’ Society of McGill University (TSSMU) are collecting supplies. Find them on Instagram and on Facebook to see what you can donate, where, and how.  
  • The Syrian Students’ Association of McGill University (SSA) is collecting money for local volunteers working on the ground. Follow them on Instagram and on Facebook for information on how you can contribute.  
  • The Muslim Students Association of McGill (MSA McGill) is collecting donations for emergency support for survivors, and offers information on their Facebook page about donation collection.  
  • Many local organizations are coordinating earthquake relief efforts. The McGill Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (MORSL) has compiled a list of local volunteer opportunities, available on their website (scroll down to the Earthquake Relief section). 
  • McGill alumni in Turkey are actively supporting the relief efforts on the ground, including helping to collect and distribute medical supplies, and assisting survivors being brought to Istanbul from the earthquake zone. The McGill Alumni Association of Turkey welcomes the help of fellow McGill alumni in Turkey at this critical time of need. For more information on how you can contribute, contact the MAA of Turkey’s representative Uğurgül Tunç by email ugurgult@gmail.comor join the branch’s WhatsApp group chat:

If you have been impacted by this situation and would like additional support, a variety of resources are available to members of our community.   

For students:  

  • keep.meSAFE, a free 24/7 mental health counselling service via phone or mobile chat that’s free to all McGill students. Support is available in up to 60 languages, including Arabic and Turkish.  
  • Telus Health Canada, keep.meSAFE’s parent company, has also opened their 24/7 Community Crisis Support Line, which can be reached at 1-844-751-2133 in Canada. Callers will receive professional emotional support and/or referral to community resources, as needed.  
  • The Student Wellness Hub has two support options:  

For staff:  

  • McGill’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provides free, confidential counselling and other well-being support, and can be reached 24/7 by phone at 1-844-852-7572, as well as by web or mobile app via  
  • The Telus Health Community Crisis Support Line is open 24/7 to anyone in Canada, whether or not they’re a Telus client, and can be reached at 1-844-751-2133 in Canada. Callers will receive professional emotional support and/or referral to community resources.