Supporting Student Mental Health – Part 2: Digital Counselling

student books on desk looking out window pensive

As students struggle to adjust to new environments and social systems, the sense of security that comes from being anonymous on the Internet can seem like an effective way to establishing relationships. This can affect an individual’s identity formation, including the ability to become aware of their lifestyle, goals, abilities, needs and related factors.

Some students may use the anonymity of the Internet to create or re-create a sense of self, believing that these characteristics will transfer to their real life personas.  These students tend to use the Internet excessively to maintain their online relationships, often at the cost of their academic success, and real life interactions.…

Supporting Student Mental Health – Part 1: The Current State

sad teenager waiting for a trainThe Centre for Addiction and Mental Health states that 70% of mental illnesses have their onset during  childhood or adolescence but that only 25% of young people in Canada with mental health problems receive professional help. 

A 2009 study by the American College Health Association included data from six Ontario universities and found that:

  • 51 to 60% of respondents in the province reported feeling hopeless;
  • 33 to 43% of students reported feeling so depressed they were unable to function;
  • 6 to 9% considered suicide in the 12 months before they answered the survey questions.

The Ontario University Students Alliance published findings indicating that students who do eventually receive help, wait an average of seven days for a counselling appointment.…

Mental Health Part 2: Mental Health Programs and Support

NHLer, Todd Fedoruk, has battled many demons over the course of his career.  At one point, the Philadelphia Flyers ordered him to rehabilitation. But was it enough?  The NHL and the NFL are currently struggling with their role with regards to mental health.  The hope is they will figure out how to not only support the players but also coaches, GMs, trainers, etc.  And while companies like Bell are setting a clear example of what we should be doing to educate the public about mental health, the majority of businesses out there are in the same boat as the NHL and NFL: they’re blind to the effects of mental health on their organizations. …

Mental Health Part 2: Leaders Should Set the Tone

Gary walks into his boss’s office and lets his manager know he’s going through some tough times.  Gary just found out that his wife has been cheating and has moved out of the house away from his kids.  Over the next few days Gary’s depression and anxiety are overwhelming and he starts to openly discuss his thoughts of suicide with his manager.

Sound far-fetched?  It’s not: unfortunately cases like this happen every day.

If you have managed a lot of people for long enough, you probably have a few stories to tell yourself.  The question is: what did you do about the situation? 

Mental Health Part 1: Mental Health Can Affect Anyone

Presidents, Famous Actors and High-Paid Athletes Don’t Get a Hall Pass on Mental Illness

Trauma in the Workplace

President Abraham Lincoln gave the United States the Gettysburg Address— one of the best-known and most inspiring speeches of all times. Catherine Zeta-Jones is an exceptionally talented, accomplished and beautiful performer who can skillfully sing, dance and act. Wade Belak was a successful professional hockey player who appeared to have it all: a gorgeous wife and kids, lots of money, a great sense of humour and loyal teammates.

What do these people have in common apart from being famous? They all suffer or suffered from mental illness.…