Mental Health Matters
Time and time again you’ll hear phrases along the lines of, “take care of your mental health” or “your mental health is so important”. These are both very true phrases, however, many students, especially during the COVID lockdowns reported their mental health is worse than ever. University is already a high-stress environment, so students really need to be aware of how they’re feeling and how to get help for it. There are many factors that can contribute to a decrease in mental health status but there are many ways to work on that. However, finding the right treatment for you is the important part.
For students at Dalhousie University, I hope this article helps to provide insight on the resources available to you or someone you know who may need it.
Student Health and Wellness
The student health and wellness centre provides both primary and mental health care to students at Dalhousie. When you think of the professionals involved in mental health care services you might think of nurses, doctors, social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists and counsellors. At the health and wellness centre their team includes all of these professionals who are committed to students. To get connected with this team, you must book an appointment and they will provide you with all the details from there.
For international students who wish to have access to a counsellor in their home country, you can check this website. Calling 00 1 (603) 952 2068 gives you access to a counsellor who will assist you in getting the care you need.
Also, carefully look at the coverage provided by your student health plan. By looking at the specifics of your coverage, students can see what medical services are available to them at a much lower price.
Sometimes mental health professionals would recommend a group counselling approach to help students manage their mental health concers while connecting with peers with similar concerns. There are group counseling options that are centered on discussion and sharing experiences. However, the university has implemented two new programs. These are Art for Healing and Book Club. Both of these approches are meant to provide therapy through self expression with visual arts and mindfulness.
If this seems like something you might be interested in, you can register here.
Online forums, workshops and programs
More than ever, having accessible counseling is of importance. These are some of the resources provided that may be useful:
This is a free and anonymous helpline that works with post-secondary students across Canada. They are always available, 24/7/365.
- The Inquiring Mind
This is a 4-hour workshop dedicated to covering the topics of stigma reduction, resiliency skills and the Mental Health Continuum Model. What does this mean? Through this workshop they aim at reducing the stigma and negative attitudes towards those with poor mental health, foster a supportive community on campus, help participants improve resilience and coping strategies.
- Short Articles
These short articles provide tips on managing stress and anxiety while building reilience and motivation and defeating procrastination. Learning these strategies might help improve your mental health if it stems from academics.
Young leaders are trained and empowered by Jack.org to share personal stories and information to inspire, educate and equip other young people to take care of their mental health and the mental health of their peers. These talks are available for Dalhousie students to listen to. They might inspire a student to find a professional to speak with about their concerns.
My parents would always say to me, ‘prevention is better than a cure’. If you’re having a mental health crisis right now, don’t wait any longer to seek out help. Also, don’t wait until you’re having a mental health crisis to get help. Start trying to understand your boundaries and emotions today. Good luck on your journey.