Services for students: The importance of maintaining mental health
Mental health has been a hot topic for multiple years, particularly with students. As students, it’s important to maintain your mental health.
“College is a very fast paced environment,” said Euan Fraser Tait, a Master’s in Counselling Psychology candidate at Western University. “A good chunk of us will just drive ourselves until we drop.”
When you push yourself to the point of burnout, your schooling, social life, and personal life will suffer. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association Ontario, when students have mental health struggles, it affects their learning greatly. It can lead to you acting differently towards teachers and colleagues, having struggles making friends, or avoiding going to class completely.
At Fanshawe College, Counselling and Accessibility is available to current students. Students can chat with various registered psychotherapists and social workers free of charge. They are there to help with topics such as:
- Grief and loss
- Family and/or relationship issues
- Abuse issues (domestic violence, sexual assault, etc.)
- Suicidal thoughts/intentions
- Depression and anxiety
- Substance use and addiction
- Anger management
- Adjusting to Canadian and/or college life
That’s not all. They are there to help with whatever you may need. When you are not at your best, this will reflect in all aspects of your life, especially in academics. Accessing these services will help you learn how to manage your mental health.
Tait said one of the most important habits to incorporate that will benefit your overall mental health is self-care.
“Decide with intention to take some moments alone, whether you want to read a book, watch Netflix, or go for a walk. The key part about what separates it from procrastination or avoiding is the intent that you do it with. If your intent is to give yourself something that nourishes you, helps replenish you, then that’s self-care.”
At Western University, there are Health and Wellness Services, that provide similar help to Fanshawe. The services are free, giving assistance for those wanting to meet personal, social, and academic goals. As outlined on uwo.ca, a counsellor will help students develop their personal care plan, which can include:
- Online resources
- Web apps
- Peer support centre
- Referral to specialized service
- Single session
- Outpatient hospital program
- Referral to psychiatry
- Inpatient hospitalization
Utilizing these professionals can help you work towards your goals and make positive changes within your lifestyle and daily routines. It can even be as simple as your daily word choices.
“My therapeutic style is compassion-based therapy. I absolutely recommend self-kindness. I want to normalize that it’s a common experience for us to be driven by our self-critical sides. It can be very hard to be kind to ourselves and take those moments when we need to look after ourselves.”
If you are a student at Fanshawe or Western, you can contact your mental health services with a quick call. Fanshawe’s Counselling and Accessibility Services can be contacted at 519-452-4282 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Western’s Health and Wellness Services can be reached at 519-661-3030.