Mental-Health awareness

December can be a really crappy month of the year. Between courses ending and Christmas, it’s often very stressful. Add on the fact that people start talking about new year’s resolutions, which is often a reminder about your previously resolution (that you likely failed to keep) and it’s no wonder that people end up depressed.

Between having a really crappy week last week, and the crappy mood still hanging around, it was a reminder think about mental health when I stumbled across this article today. It’s from the Globe and Mail and is about how universities are responding to the surge of mental-health issues on campus.

I have friends who have become so stressed out during university that they have seen psychiatrists and one who attempted suicide (thankfully, it was only an attempt). I have other friends who eventually dropped out of university (undergrad or grad) because of the stress and inability to cope. And it was always worse for those who did not want to seek any outside help.

Most campuses have mental-health resources available for students, from drop-in peer counselling to referrals for professional help. And it should be accessed if needed, with no stigma attached. On top of that, for undergrads, the Kids Help Phone is actually available for people 20 and under. Most drop in medical clinics will have resources to, at the very least, refer you to the right place for help.

Besides those resources, there’s always your supervisor, department chair or grad chair, and any professor/instructor you are taking a class from. They are usually provided with resources to help direct students to the right place for the help they need. TAs don’t always have the information, but should be willing to help you find it.

The important thing to remember, if you’re having any trouble coping with what’s going on in your life, is that there are a lot of people who are ready, willing and able to help you. Don’t be afraid to access those resources.

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