8 Ways to Deal with Mental Health Issues at School

Mental health has become a serious issue and many people face a variety of different problems with their mental wellbeing. While we have made progress by not considering mental illness such a taboo topic, there are still many issues when it comes to actually dealing with your mental health, especially for students under so many different kinds of stress. Here are some strategies I have found helpful in dealing with common student issues such as depression and anxiety.

1. Keep a journal One strategy that has seriously helped me was originally recommended by a therapist as a way of dealing with overwhelming feelings of depression. That is keeping a log about what I’m feeling and what’s going on in my life. Sometimes just writing can be a way of venting and letting it all out, just as if you were to say it aloud. It’s also a way of getting out any creative juices you may have flowing and the extra writing can be beneficial, especially while attending school! 

                     

2. Sticky notes

I had a friend in first year who suffered from severe depression and would write down little positive or encouraging messages on colourful sticky notes and post them all over her room. Looking at them would help keep her chin up and put a smile on her face, which is a super positive way to start, or end, your day!

3. List the good, the bad, and the ugly

Another way of hashing it out through writing is hanging up a white board and keeping track of the good and the bad things that happen throughout your day. When you step back and look at it, it can help with realizing the important stuff. Sometimes it can be hard to see what really has an impact on our lives and taking a moment to really evaluate things can help a lot with not overthinking things or sweating the small stuff. As someone who can obsess over one small thought for days, this has really helped me.

4. Friend therapy

If you have great friends like I do, they likely want to be there for you just as much as you want to be there for them. Schedule a time when you are both (or all) free to tell them about what you’re feeling or experiencing. If your friends are really your friends, they’ll have open ears and, if they’re really great, they may pitch in an idea or two on ways to help you based on the things that they have learned about you through your friendship. It can also strengthen your relationships.

5. Call your parents

Depending on what your individual family dynamics are like, family is one of the strongest and most reliable support systems you probably have around. Whether it’s your mom, or your dad, or even your sibling, just talking can be a great way of getting some of the weight off of your chest. And they’re probably going to be a lot more honest and sometimes even harsh with you than your friends, which can be much needed!

6. Help hotlines

As mental health becomes more openly talked about in contemporary society, a variety of help hotlines have begun to appear as a source of reaching out for help with issues such as feelings of depression, anxiety, past traumas and many other experiences that can be tough to go through alone. Some help lines will be listed at the end of the article, so feel free to check them out.

7. Therapy

Wilfrid Laurier University has done a good job of recognizing mental health issues within its body of students and offers a variety of services to help. Anyone who feels like they are struggling can book an appointment at the Wellness Centre, as it is covered with our tuition fees, and you can schedule an appointment to talk with a counsellor. They also offer services not related to mental health such as massages that can offer a serious relief.

8. Other campus services

For those who can be restricted by their mental health, be it severe anxiety disorders or depression, there are a number of on-campus services that can help, especially in regards to your education. If you need extra help to find ways to study or work while dealing with mental health, the Accessible Learning Centre provides resources for students with both permanent and temporary disabilities.

Being a student can be hard as it is, but dealing with mental health issues on top can be near impossible. If you are suffering, don’t be afraid to reach out and seek the help you need, especially when there are so many wonderful services offered in and around the Laurier campus.

List of hotlines/services:

-SAFEhawk: it is a free app for iPhone, Blackberry and Android users

-Good2Talk (1-866-925-5454): is a free, confidential hotline that provides professional counselling and information

-Here24/7 (1-844-437-3247): is. Help line agency that provides services all throughout Waterloo