Most people know when their body is unhealthy. Whether it is a runny nose, cough, fever, sore muscles, toothache or headache – these symptoms indicate that something is going wrong with your body and you need to get help to fix it.
Mental health works in much the same way. When you experience thoughts and emotions that don’t feel normal, something might be wrong. Symptoms to be aware of include:
- Negative thoughts
- Loss of interest in daily activities
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty relaxing
- Feeling unusually irritable
- Low energy
- Loss of confidence
- Feeling hopeless
- Feeling lonely
- Difficulty sleeping
Everyone experiences these symptoms occasionally, but if you are not feeling normal for a couple of weeks or more, it can be a sign that your mental health needs some help.
Check out this video from the Director of our Centre for International Education and Global Partnerships, Eddy Lau:
- International Students and Mental Health Eddy Lau (Director, International Education)
It may be surprising to find that you experience mental health challenges differently in Canada than you did in your home country; however, life here is different. You may have had activities, habits, people and other resources in your home country to help you maintain your mental health, which is not available here. Additionally, the pressures of academic life, the difference in climate and daily routines can bring added stress that can trigger mental health problems.
- Listen to Ligia, a former international student at Red River College, share her experience dealing with mental health challenges as a student. Video
Managing your thoughts and emotions requires acknowledging the changes and challenges you are facing, employing new strategies to meet the challenges and using available help and supports. Here are some things you can do to maintain good mental health and address challenges when they come.
- Stay active: Keeping your body active and healthy helps your mind as well. Get outside, even during the winter. The physical activity, oxygen and sunlight can help you feel better, despite the cold!
- Get your vitamins: Vitamin D is related to your mood, and many people have a deficiency of this vitamin in the winter when they get less sun. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about supplementing this and any other vitamins you may be missing.
- Talk to someone: Talk to a friend about how you are feeling. If you don’t have someone you can talk to, you can call the Red River Relief Line, a free, anonymous, 24/7 support.
- Meet with a counsellor: Red River College counsellors can help you work through personal struggles, develop skills to manage better and enjoy your college experience. You can book an appointment online or by visiting their office (Notre Dame campus)
- If you are in crisis, get help: A crisis is when you are struggling and having difficulty coping with your stress, thoughts or feelings. Urgent support is available on-campus and in our community:
- Counselling Services (Notre Dame Campus – D102, The Roblin Centre – P210)
- Crisis Response Centre (24/7 walk-in service) 817 Bannatyne Avenue
- Mobile Crisis Service (Someone will come to you) Phone: 204.940.1781
- Klinic Crisis Line – 24/7 Phone: 204.786.8686 / TTY: 204.784.4097
- If you are having thoughts of suicide, phone the Suicide Prevention and Support line: 1.877.435.7170
In the case of an emergency, call 9.1.1 or go to your nearest emergency room.
- Healthy Minds Healthy College – Check out the News & Events page for upcoming events, including Thrive Week in November!
- Counselling services
- Red River ReliefLine
- Student benefits cover services from registered massage therapists, psychologists and social workers (among others).
- Visit Recreation and Athletics to get involved with fitness classes (free for students), intramurals or other physical activities.
- Manitoba Suicide Prevention and Support Line 1.877.435.7170 or reasontolive.ca
Check out this week’s Get Oriented (GO) success strategies and more videos for getting help when you need it.