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Mental health struggles: Some advice from Mohawk College student and support services staff

September, which is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, acknowledges the importance of mental health for all people, including students.

Balancing schoolwork along with other personal commitments can be challenging for students and take a toll on their mental health, especially near the end of a semester during exam season.

“Most of the school workload becomes higher and things become more stressful toward the end of the semester,” Mohawk student Blen Teshome said. “Final projects are due then, exams are due then and it becomes a bit intense. Things can become a bit intense toward the end of each semester. I’m in my second semester right now and I do feel my school workload already becoming more intense. I felt it in the last semester and I’ll probably feel it next semester as well.”

Taking frequent breaks from studying and assignments by exploring personal interests and hobbies is one way for students to de-stress and take care of their mental health.

“When things are piling up I tend to go back to my routine,” Teshome said. “Making sure that I am going to the gym, making sure that I’m walking, just doing additional things that do not bring stress to me. When I do these routine activities it makes me go back to being a bit calmer and making the tasks in front of me easier to tackle.”

“Knowing that things pass is a good perspective to have,” she added, offering advice to any students who may be struggling with their mental health. “Like how big your exam is or how big your presentation is. That moment: it’s going to pass. If you have that perspective you’ll be like, ‘You know what? I know this moment is going to pass so I’m just going to do the best I can with the resources I have and move from it and learn from it.’”

Mohawk provides mental health services and support to students through Student Services and the Health and Wellness Centre.

“We have counselling for all students,” peer to peer health promoter Ashir Mumtaz said. “They can go to counselling and we have counsellors available for them on campus. They can book [an appointment] online. Plus, we also have a new program called Wellness Skills in which we have different topics. Students can join these groups, for example, there’s Thriving in Action and there’s [a program] about sleep and how to sleep and manage your study life better. So we have counselling services, we have wellness skills programs and all students get counselling for free on campus.”

The Health and Wellness Centre works hard to promote its services and ensure all students that help is there if they need it.

“For example, the wellness skills programs were promoted at the Student Life Expo last week,” Mumtaz said. “We promote all our activities on campus for all students to let them know we are there.”

Students also have the opportunity to get involved with mental health services around campus through jobs and other activities.

“If students would like to be involved in the Health and Wellness Centre, we do provide different activities,” Mumtaz said. “Plus, we just posted another job posting for Health and Wellness.”

Mohawk students looking for mental health support can schedule an appointment online at https://mohawkcollegehealthandwellness.inputhealth.com/.

 

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