October is Mental Health month. Mental health is something we want to talk about, not just in October, but every month and every day. While the month of October comes to a close, we want to continue to have conversations, provide resources and improve services related to mental health. As the KSA's Policy & Political Affairs Coordinator, Nicki has spent the last month hosting workshops and supporting our A More Mindful U Mental Health campaign. From this month, she has a few words about fall, mental health and the ways you can be supported on campus...
So if the recent turn towards terrible weather is any indication, we are definitely getting into fall. This means a lot of things: Pumpkin spice lattes *insert joke about being basic*, cosy sweater weather, and Thanksgiving. But it also means shorter, darker days, probably midterms and all the stress that comes with that. It can be a tough time. October is also mental health month which means that we will do what we can to be here for you through the good (pumpkin flavoured everything) as well as the bad (anxiety, seasonal affective disorder etc).
Talking about mental health is important and if you can reach out to someone, even just to share stories, that has the potential to help both of you. But sometimes talking isn’t enough, and you will need some more specific medical or professional help. We want to make sure that everyone is getting the kind of help they need, so we are going to take a moment to talk about all the different resources you have access to.
If you are having some trouble dealing with anything, you are definitely not alone. 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental illness throughout their life, but so many people don’t receive the help they need. If you think you might need help there are so many places to go to, and almost all of them are free. If you don’t know where to start, all KPU students now have access to MyWellness where you can take a free and completely confidential mental health assessment. The site also features a bunch of other resources including online counselling.
If you want to see a specialist, you can make an appointment with KPU counselling here. If you just need to talk, you can also drop by Peer Support and talk to a student to get one-on-one support and referrals to other resources. There are so many other resources available online here and here ranging from referrals to apps that will help deal with anxiety. There are also more specific things like Active KSA, where you can go on hikes with other students and make sure you’re exercising regularly, that aren’t listed as mental health resources but that will help you take care of yourself.
Seek out these programs, talk about them to your friends to make sure that everyone knows what to do when they need mental health services. We have also been writing letters to the government to ask for targeted funding for mental health services on campus. If you think there should be consistent and reliable funding for counselling then sign the letter here: http://www.kusa.ca/currentcampaigns.html
Make sure that you’re taking care of yourself this fall