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Student resources available on World Mental Health Day

Credit: DYLAN CHARETTE

World Mental Health Day raises awareness of mental health issues across the global community.


Haydn Rooth | Interrobang | News | October 4th, 2019




World Mental Health Day is on Oct.10.

The World Federation for Mental Health’s (WFMH) president, Dr. Alberto Trimboli released a statement about the upcoming event, specifically addressing this year’s theme of suicide prevention.

“According to the WHO (World Health Organization), more than 800,000 people die by suicide a year, making it the principal cause of death among people 15 to 29 years old,” Trimboli said in the statement.

According to the statement, many children and young people engage in suicidal behaviour as a result of violence, sexual abuse, bullying and cyberbullying.

“There are numerous complex factors that contribute to a suicide, but what is most important is that all of our actions must be geared toward prevention,” Trimboli wrote. “The object of making suicide prevention the theme of World Mental Health Day in 2019 is to attract the attention of governments so that the issue might be given priority in public health agendas around the world.”

Trimboli said the day deserves particular attention from national health authorities who are responsible for crafting policies and establishing strategies to prevent suicide and promote the public’s mental health. He added that the message of suicide prevention travels across sectors and reaches individual actors who can make positive change within their local environments. The WFMH is seeking any documents, photos or videos that may be shared on their social media and website (wfmh.global), as they are looking for those who want to share their voice and enact real change.

Locally, Fanshawe College is prepared for World Mental Health Day.

According to Suzanne Book, director of Counselling and Accessibility at Fanshawe, the College will honour the day by continuing to focus on early intervention and building resiliency among students.

Book also informed the Interrobang that Fanshawe will continue to “encourage students in the understanding that everyone has mental health issues or stressors in their lives, and to think of mental health as a continuum that may require different resources or responses at different times in their academic career”.

Book said that for Fanshawe, “World Mental Health Day is an opportunity to continue to highlight the importance of reducing stigma about mental health, identify campus and community resources for students, and engage in conversations that build our community knowledge and capacity to respond to mental health issues.”

When asked about Fanshawe’s ongoing services, Book said Counselling and Accessibility Services provides individual and group counselling covering a wide array of mental health issues. They also offer workshops and information sessions that encourage students to learn more about wellness, mindfulness, and self-care.

This World Mental Health Day, Fanshawe will be promoting Well- Track, a free, online program that provides 24/7 access to information modules and tools that focus on stress, anxiety, depression and phobias — and can help any student better understand issues that may be impacting them individually or in their peer group.

Students can sign up by going to welltrack.com, or searching “WellTrack” on their phone’s app store. They will need to sign up using their Fanshawe Online (FOL) email address.

For many students, school can provide many stressors and anxieties. Fanshawe alumnus Marcell Pieniadz, spoke to Interrobang about his experience with mental health and the school system.

“For the first year and a bit of school I began contemplating dropping out, I was feeling overwhelmed as well as generally exhausted. It really wasn’t until I started asking for help that things started getting better for me. It is of course easier said than done, but I encourage anyone who is struggling with some demons to at least tell a friend.”

Opening a dialogue about your mental health is the first step. Talk to a friend this World Mental Health Day, and check in with the resources available through Counselling and Accessibility in room F2010. Phone to make an appointment at 519-452-4282 or email at counselling@nullfanshawec.ca.
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