Working through the stigma

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If someone were to ask you, how long you spend each day taking care of your emotional well being would you be able to come up with an answer? Most have difficulty with this question.

Students lead very busy lives consumed with deadlines, readings, socializing and trying to balance school, work, friends and family.

It can be exhausting and at times, overwhelming. Taking care of your mental health, your emotional well being, is as important as exercising. Some would argue more so. When we are not proactive in looking after our mental health, it can become difficult to reach our academic and personal potential. When symptoms persist, a mental illness can result.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), mental illness will affect everyone at some point. If it is not you experiencing symptoms of mental illness, it could easily be a friend, partner, family member or colleague. The statistics are alarming; one in five of us will experience a mental illness at some point in our lives.

Unfortunately, the stigma and discrimination attached to mental illness has remained a serious barrier for people when it comes to receiving treatment. Students often feel alone in their struggles.

To help reduce this stigma and feeling of isolation, we hope you tune into our brand new Radio Laurier show, Talking Mental Health.

We hope to further the conversation about mental health and help students realize that talking openly about their concerns is important. Each week, we will be discussing various mental health topics, including the services available at Counselling Services.

Students come to WLU Counselling Services to discuss and work through a variety of personal issues. Anxiety, depression, stress, family and relationship issues are some of the common concerns students bring to Counselling Services. However, any area of your life that is causing you distress, difficulty focusing or affecting your ability to manage your emotions and/or academic work can be discussed with a counsellor.

At Counselling Services, we provide free personal counselling to all interested, registered students at WLU. The information you share with your counsellor is completely confidential and we will not give out any of your personal information without your written consent. In order to access Counselling Services, a student needs to attend a Walk-In Intake appointment which is available daily on a first come first serve basis.

Daily crisis appointments are available for students who feel they cannot keep themselves safe, have experienced a recent traumatic event, or feel they cannot emotionally manage until the next day. For further information on these appointments, please visit our website at www.mylaurier.ca/counselling.

Starting in October, a six-week workshop on Mindfulness will be offered. More information about this group will be posted on our website in the near future.

Counselling Services is located on the second floor of the Student Services building —above the cafeteria and across from Health Services — in room SS2-203. During the fall and winter we are open Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m., and Fridays 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

We hope that you tune in daily to Radio Laurier to hear our professionally trained staff discuss relevant topics about your personal mental health. Talking Mental Health airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 2 pm, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11: 45 a.m.

If you have questions about our service, please call Counselling Services at 519-884-0970 ext. 2338 or email us at counselling@wlu.ca.

If you have specific comments, questions, or ideas for our Talking Mental Health radio show, please email talkingmentalhealth@radiolaurier.com. Our September radio shows will discuss our services, homesickness, transitio, and loneliness.

We appreciate your feedback and wish you a healthy, successful fall term.

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