What is mental health?

Mental health consists of emotional, social, and psychological well-being. Just as it is important to take care of our body, taking care of our mind is just as vital. According to the CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association), there are six factors that encompass good mental health. These include:

  1. A sense of purpose
  2. Strong relationships
  3. Feeling connected to others
  4. Having a good sense of self
  5. Coping with stress
  6. Enjoying life

Maintaining good mental health is essential not only for academic success at university, but for personal fulfillment in other aspects of life as well. It allows us to thrive and be our best, happiest selves. 

 

 

 

For Bell Let’s Talk at Glendon, this year we are running a week full of events in order to promote mental health and wellness awareness. We are excited to announce a whole variety of activities in order to reduce stigma around mental health, and in order to promote mental health awareness. 

 

You can look forward to:

  • Mental Health Town Hall: The Office of Student Affairs, in partnership with the Glendon College Student Union and the Accessibility, Well-Being and Counselling Centre, invite you to join us in a town hall on mental health, in a safe space, to speak openly and honestly about what is on your mind. Experts from the Counselling Centre will present resources and offer tools to support the mental health, and student leaders will share their journey and tips. You are welcome to send in your questions, comments, as well as preferences regarding topics you would like covered here. *Note session will be delivered bilingually Sign up!
  • Virtual Challenge on Instagram: One way to participate in Bell Let’s Talk this week is with challenges at Glendon!! Complete an act of kindness or an act of self care and share it with us by either, posting it on your story and tagging us or sending us a dm. The contest will run from the 24th of January to the 28th. Winners for prizes will be announced the week of the 31st!

5 simple ways to end the stigma and start a conversation

The words you chose can make all the difference. Just as much as words can help, they can also hurt. Be mindful in choosing the right words.

Don’t say: Scizo
Instead say: Person with schizophrenia
Don’t say: Crazy
Instead say: Person with a mental illness

Did you know? When it comes to mental illness, education is key. It is so important to have the right tools, to know the right words, and to understand how to correctly speak with someone experiencing a mental illness. Education can make all the difference. Check out Bell Let’s Talk Toolkit for great resources to learn about mental health!  https://letstalk.bell.ca/en/toolkit
Kindness is key! Whether it be a smile, being a good listener or reaching out to someone for a coffee, are all simple acts that can be life changing. Open up conversations, and let someone know that you’re there for them.

Your presence is all someone might need. Mental illness is a very common form of human suffering. Being a good listener and asking how you can help, or simply being there for the people you care about can be a great first step towards their recovery.

You can ask:
I’m sorry you aren’t feeling well.
I’ve noticed you’ve been down lately. Is everything OK?
How can I help?

Break the silence! Two out of three people suffer in silence, fearing judgement and rejection. Being open to a conversation is the first step towards eliminating the stigma. Know the facts, be kind, be a good listener and a friend. Be part of the conversation to eliminate the stigma once and for all.

Wellness is the process of pursuing activities, establishing habits, and making choices that lead to a more healthy and fulfilling life. It is not simply the absence of illness – it is a constant, ongoing road to improvement in one’s physical and mental health.

The pandemic has made mental health and wellness a challenge for many, but there are still ways to stay mentally healthy despite the circumstances:

  1. Reach out to loved ones
  2. Spend time outdoors
  3. Engage in a creative hobby
  4. Stay active by participating in an online workout session
  5. Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation

 

Taking care of yourself by eating well, staying hydrated, getting a proper amount of sleep, and avoiding substance abuse can also contribute to better mental health during this time.

Mental Health Resources

Good2Talk : This counselling service available 24/7. You can call or text anytime (at 686868). This is not only available to York University students but all post-secondary students in Ontario.

 

Kids Help Phone offers free, 24/7 texting and phone call services to youth experiencing crisis. Call 1-800-668-6868 or text 686868.

 

Crisis Text Line Canada (text 741741 or 686868) is a free, 24/7 texting service for anyone going through a difficult time and needs help right away. Powered by Kids Help Phone.

 

Distress Centres of Greater Toronto provides free 24/7 emotional support and crisis intervention for those living in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. Call 416-408-4357 or text 45645.

 

Wellness Together Canada is a free service for anyone looking for support for mental health and substance use concerns.

 

Accessibility, Well-Being and Counselling | Glendon: The AWC offers walk-in counselling, emergency support, workshops, groups, and short-term counselling for Glendon Campus students. All counsellors at Accessibility, Well-Being & Counselling are registered clinicians who have experience working with a diverse student population. However, AWC recognizes that students may desire to meet with a counsellor with whom they share the same or similar identity/ background.

 

My SSP App:  All students can access this counselling service 24/7 by text chat, video or audio call. The bonus is that Keep Me Safe counsellors can speak multiple languages and are the counsellors located in Canada and worldwide. The app is available for out-of-province and international students however, students in Ontario can find mental health resources near them via the app.

 

GOsafe app: Designed for York U students, faculty and staff, the free app provides one-stop access to all of the University’s safety resources, including a direct call to campus security and goSAFE, as well as information regarding the campus shuttle and other campus safety-related services.

Immediate safety concerns:

If you are experiencing immediate safety concerns in either yourself or others (like thoughts of hurting yourself or others) please see services below:

 

  • First, call Emergency Services: 911
  • Then, call Campus Security: 416-736-533

Blue light emergency lights:

Connect directly with Security or goSAFE using one of the Blue Light Emergency Phones located across campus. They are equipped with a blue light that flashes to make them highly noticeable when activated. Interactive maps of the Glendon and Keele campuses are available that include emergency phone locations.

https://www.glendon.yorku.ca/student-affairs/assisting-students-distress/

Your own Mental Health Check-In’s and when to get help:

Checking in with yourself is vital to maintaining good mental health and wellbeing. If you check in with yourself regularly you will be able to notice if your feelings of being down, tense, irritable, or anxious have been lasting for a long period of time. If so, it is possible that you are experiencing poor mental health and you should consider getting support. Being self-aware of your mental health can help you identify your own personal behavioural warning signs as early as possible. Because experiencing poor mental health can impact so many areas of your life, it is important to seek support to learn the right tools to cope with it.

 

Over the past 4 weeks, how have I been experiencing the following? (1. often, 2.occasionally, 3.rarely, 4.never)

 

  • significant mood swings that are out of character
  • Increased irritability and frustration
  • Finding it hard to take minor constructive criticisms
  • Spending less time with friends and family, self isolating
  • Loss of interest in your favorite fun or enjoyable activities
  • Over sleeping
  • Under sleeping
  • Increased alcohol and drug use
  • Missing school or work shifts
  • Increased physical health complaints (stomach aches, headaches)
  • Slowing down of thoughts and actions
  • Regular negative self-talk (seeing yourself as a failure)
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems, confusion or brain fog
  • Considering self-harm or suicide
  • Change in appetite – Overeating
  • Change in appetite – under eating
  • Feeling more sad than happy
  • Feeling uneasy with myself or my surroundings
  • Using negative coping strategies (drugs, alcohol, gambling, over/under eating, isolating) rather than healthy ones (reading, walking, talking to a friend etc)

 

At the end of the form – a score is generated out of 80 (20 questions x 4)

Create 4 categories

  • 1 high concern, seek immediate help. 20 to 30 points
    • Thank you so much for taking the time to check in with yourself. We are so sorry to hear how things are going with you. Your score is considered of high concern. We urge you to please see immediate help. Please call 911 and campus security (416-487-6808).You can also call or email the Glendon Accessibility and Well-Being Center : 416-487-6709, counselling@glendon.yorku.ca.
  • 2 concern, help available – 30 to 40 points
    • Thank you so much for taking the time to check in with yourself. We are so sorry to hear how things are going with you. Your score is considered of concern. We urge you to please seek help. We are there to help, one option is to call or email: Glendon Accessibility and Well-Being Center : 416-487-6709, counselling@glendon.yorku.ca.
  • 3 no concern, help available – 40 to 60 points
    • Thank you so much for taking the time to check in with yourself. It seems things are going okay. Your score is considered of not concerning. We encourage you to keep taking measures to consistently check in with yourself and practice self care.We are always here to help, you can always; call or email: Glendon Accessibility and Well-Being Center : 416-487-6709, counselling@glendon.yorku.ca.
  • 4 doing well, keep it up, help available – 60 to 80 points

Thank you so much for taking the time to check in with yourself. You seem to be doing really well! We are so glad to hear that! We encourage you to keep taking measures to consistently check in with yourself and practice self care. If you need it, we are always here to help, you can always; call or email: Glendon Accessibility and Well-Being Center : 416-487-6709, counselling@glendon.yorku.ca.

Helping others:

*: Early intervention is key to supporting others in their mental health. Keep an eye out for these signs to be able to tell if someone is at high risk of harm, moderate risk, or low risk.

 

High risk: violent, harmful aggressive behaviour. Threats to hurt themselves or others. Frequently thinking of harming themselves or suicide. Missing most of school and work.

 

Moderate risk of harm: changes in hygiene or appearance, low mood, avoiding friends and family, overuse of substances and alcohol, expressions of hopelessness, references to suicide.

 

Low risk of harm: problems studying, staying focused, relationship problems, problems with sleep. Feeling overwhelmed with school or work

 

Respond with empathy, care, concern and suggestions:

  • I have noticed that
  • I am concerned
  • How can i help you to
  • There are plenty of sources at glendon

 

If you are interested in suicide prevention training like safeTALK, check out these offered workshops:

https://www.livingworks.net/

Sleep Health