Empower your mental wellbeing
Mental health has to be prioritized in the current climate
Can you recall a moment when the weight of the world seemed to rest on your shoulders? To get a bit more specific, as a student, have you been dealing with the anxiety of a looming assignment deadline and striving to maintain that good GPA while juggling the financial pressures of paying tuition fees and rent?
On a more serious note, everyone has felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as it wreaked havoc across the globe, creating uncertainty about the future. And what of the ongoing humanitarian crises that continually leave us questioning the state of the world? The importance of mental health has never been higher, and we cannot lose our focus on mental wellbeing at this point in time.
According to a national survey published in The Globe and Mail in 2016 on colleges and universities, approximately one-fifth of Canadian post-secondary students deal with depression, anxiety, or other mental health challenges. The survey shows an alarming increase in the number of students reporting distress compared to three years prior, and conditions have not improved since. This issue extends to the general population, and many must wait to get the care they need while others do not get any care, or the care they do get is insufficient.
Much like other universities across Canada, the University of Regina (U of R) seeks to equip students with tools to safeguard their mental health. One such instance is the reassurance email that President Jeff Keshen recently sent to the U of R community in light of the unfolding Israeli-Palestinian humanitarian crisis. In it, he reassured students that the U of R is strongly committed to peace, justice, and human rights for everyone and that anything contrary to those principles will not be tolerated on campus.
At the forefront of the university’s efforts is the Student Mental Health department which provides accessible, evidence-based, and inclusive psychological services to the diverse student community. The clinicians at Student Mental Health are registered psychologists with extensive experience in treating a wide range of concerns. They adhere to the principles outlined in the Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists, ensuring ethical and professional care.
Any information shared during treatment sessions is confidential, including the fact that a student has accessed these services. The first session at Student Mental Health is focused on addressing the student’s current pressing situational stressor in a time-responsive and solution-focused manner. During the session, the student collaborates with the clinician to develop insight, explore options, and find feasible solutions.
This collaborative effort may involve psychoeducation, therapeutic strategies, skill development, and recommended resources for ongoing support. Follow-up sessions will offer a brief and change-oriented approach. While there is no strict cap on the number of sessions, they claim that desired outcomes are often achieved within three to eight sessions. The sessions are available both in person and virtually via Zoom, scheduled by appointment during regular office hours from Monday to Friday. To access this service, simply go to uregina.ca/student/counselling/forms/online-consent.html and fill out the application form if you want to see a mental health counselor.
In addition to the services offered by Student Mental Health, the U of R’s commitment to the health and safety of its students, faculty, and staff on its campus is palpable. The university’s Health and Safety team is dedicated to providing a safe and secure environment. They offer different resources to ensure the well-being of everyone on campus, including online safety courses and instructions on reporting incidents or safety concerns. The “2023 Monthly Safety Shares” page on their official website uregina.ca/hr/hs/ provides helpful information on various safety topics, reinforcing a positive safety awareness whether you are on campus or at home.
Certainly, in trying times, each person has their own struggle. Whether these challenges are related to financial pressure, academic pursuits, strained relationships, or other setbacks, it’s in these times that we come to realize that sound mental and emotional wellbeing is something that cannot be overlooked. After all, mental health is not just a solitary endeavor but also a collective responsibility, as proven by the University of Regina through its various mental health resources.
If you require immediate urgent support, you can contact the following services:
- 911 for an emergency
- 811 for health-related concerns or go to your nearest urgent healthcare facility
- Campus Security: 306-585-4999
- Regina Mobile Crisis Services: 306-757-0127
- Regina Crisis Line: 306-525-5333
- Regina Sexual Assault Line: 306-352-0434
- Canada Crisis Text Line: Text ”UofR” to 686868 or phone 1-800-668-6868
- Talk Suicide Canada: 1-833-456-4566 or talksuicide.ca
- For immediate assistance for Indigenous peoples across Canada: 1-855-242-3310