Brandon Hoto is a fourth-year English student.
Mental health is just as important as physical health in all aspects of life, but especially in university during particularly stressful times. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association:
Mental health is key to our well-being. We can’t be truly healthy without it. It involves how we feel, think, act, and interact with the world round us. Mental health is about realizing our potential, coping with the normal stresses of life, and making a contribution to our community. It may be more helpful to think of good mental health as thriving. Good mental health isn’t about avoiding problems or trying to achieve a ‘perfect’ life. It’s about living well and feeling capable despite challenges. People who live with a mental illness can and do thrive, just as people without a mental illness may experience poor mental health.
In order to promote mental health and well-being, CUSA brought back the Pop the Stigma Mental Health Campaign for a third year. The campaign aims to highlight mental health resources for students and encourage discussion to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. Students are encouraged to write their “stigma” on a piece of paper. Examples of stigma include:
An exciting addition to the program this year was art therapy, which was held in the Carleton University quad on September 29th. Many students attended this dynamic, interactive workshop led by Paint Therapy Ottawa.
Other highlights of the week include the return of Chris Niamey, who spoke about his personal experience with mental illness, and a presentation on eating disorders by Overeaters Anonymous. Students also had the opportunity to interact with therapy animals from Therapeutic Paws of Canada, a program that has been consistently popular.
In order to seek help for mental illness concerns, there are plenty of resources available on campus. Health and Counselling Services (613-520-6674) provides confidential counselling for current Carleton University students. Their primary responsibility is to alleviate distress and promote healthy functioning by providing short-term counselling services. Students can self-refer to counselling. Some examples of the issues students may discuss with a counsellor include: coping with stress/homesickness, increasing sadness, handling a crisis, improving communication, learning to be assertive, increasing self-esteem, gender identity, understanding one’s sexuality and dealing with alcohol and drug concerns.
The Carleton University Student Mental Health Framework is another important addition to Carleton University’s efforts to promote positive mental health and assist students in realizing their potential. Its purpose is to facilitate a consistent and integrated approach to responding to Carleton students who are in distress.
At Carleton we want our community to thrive. A community that thrives is one that strengthens our mental health by learning about it, thinking about it, talking about it and using supportive and helpful resources to reduce stigma!
Use #CUThrive to join the conversation and stay up to date with the latest news!