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Mental health in university

University is often described as where many people “find themselves.” It’s also where  many experience anxiety and depression for the first time.

Being in a new environment, introduced to new social pressures, having left behind friends and family, then adding the stress of classes and exams… it can be a stressful shift to university life.

The loneliness of a new place can make the stigma that’s associated with mental health feel difficult to overcome and harder to talk with someone about personal struggles – but Dalhousie has resources to offer for those looking.

In the fall and winter semester, Dal societies host a Mental Health Awareness Week that features events and activities like panels, group meditation sessions, and safe spaces, with the goal of promoting a discussion on mental health and self-care.

The PROsocial Project encourages and empower students to make proactive choices when handling mental health and substance abuse. The group also informs students about the accessible resources on campus.

Moving to university often marks the first time that students are away from the comfortable structure of their families. Accessing support becomes more of a barrier, and may deter students from seeking the services they need.

Dal’s on-campus services make the process of seeking help less daunting. Email letstalk@dmcrt.ca for the Dal Medical Campus Response team to anonymously direct you to services on campus most relevant to individual circumstances within 24-hours. Residence assistants are also there for you to provide peer support and help direct you to these services.

Online resources are easily accessible at any time and help provide comfort in their anonymity.

Dal’s THRIVE website is an initiative targeted towards stress management, body image, managing alcohol use and promoting the aspects of living a healthy life.

WellTrack is a free self-help tool that helps individuals manage anxiety, depression, and stress. It has features some may find helpful, such as recommended exercise routines and sleep schedules.

Connecting with in-person services is one of the most important options available to help discuss mental health and overall wellbeing.

For immediate support, contact the Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team toll-free at 1-888-429-8167. In the event of an on campus emergency, call Dal Security at 902-494-4109 or use the DalSafe app.

For non-immediate help, Dal Counselling Services takes appointments at 902-494-2081. Dal Student Health Services takes drop-ins. Doctors, psychiatrists, a nurse practitioner, social worker, and registered nurses are present on the 2nd floor of the LeMarchant Building to attend to urgent issues regarding mental health and substance use. To book a non-urgent appointment with Student Health Services, the on-campus clinic, call 902-494-2171.
Want to learn more about mental health and how to support those with mental health concerns? Take a mental health first aid course, offered free at Dal. The course provides knowledge on the variety of mental health concerns that exist, also emphasizing self-care and the maintenance of one’s own mental health.

Register for the September 10th or 11th class (or any other upcoming sessions) here.


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