As the snow begins to fall, so can people’s moods.
The annual ‘Beyond The Blues’ event at UNBC helped students cope with the stressors of getting a post-secondary education. From making their very own stress balls, to answering screening questionnaires, students were able to learn about their own mental health.
It’s midterm season and while some students are stressing out, Taylor Boucher, took a moment to shade in an adult colouring book at the event. The fourth year student has learned to cope with her anxiety, but her transition from high school to university wasn’t always this easy. “I didn’t know how to study properly, my exams were difficult and it was hard for me to adjust,” she said.
Struggling to adapt, Boucher uses the on-campus peer support network to help overcome some of the pressures she faces. “I personally see a councilor just to manage my stress and anxiety still, I think without your mental health being up to where it should be, you can’t really perform in the way that you would be able to.”
UNBC Councillor, Margaret Fuller, says giving students the chance to talk about mental issues in a private questionnaire helps bring light to the more serious situations in their lives. “These are things like suicide or self-harm, or depression or just fears that they’re totally overwhelmed so this kind of gives them a gauge as to how overwhelmed am I?”
Executive Director of the local Canadian Mental Health Branch, Maureen Davis, is also a strong supporter of the questionnaire. Davis says it’s used to as a way to address problems before they get worse. “Often times you don’t even do a mental health check until your ill, so this is a way of beginning to look at identifying early and beginning to look at preventative measures early.”
No matter the situation, students like Boucher say they’re happy to be continuing the conversation around mental health. “Everyone goes through things, for a program like this to be around, it helps people feel better, it makes them feel like they’re not alone, that they have people to talk to and that they have someone to understand what they’re going through.”