3 Steps for Improved Mental Health

An article by Melissa Jacobs, first year English literature student

Following Bell Let’s Talk Day on Wednesday of this week, everyone has mental health on the mind. Brescia’s Let’s Talk event has sparked conversation on campus, to help raise awareness about mental health. Now is a great time to look at how you can better cater to your own mental health. Here are three steps you can take to achieve more improved mental health.

1. Plan your Supports
One of the most important things to do for your wellbeing is to have a support system in place. A strong support system is crucial. This can include friends, family, doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, counselors, wellbeing coordinators at your school, teachers, crisis phone numbers etc. This can also include places that you feel safe and supported in, such as: your bedroom, a library, a favourite store or a friend’s place. Reaching out to these people and visiting these places can make a world of difference, whether you are in crisis or not. Make a list of all the people and places you can turn to when things become too overwhelming. Stay tuned to the end for an extensive list of resources available to you on and off campus.

2. Prevention Planning
Taking care of yourself is imperative in improving your mind and your body’s resilience. The more you practice taking care of yourself the easier it will be to handle the stress that will inevitably come your way. Self care is vital in prevention planning. When you are well rested, nourished, hydrated, and hygienic, it will allow you to better handle any triggers you encounter on a daily basis. You will also be able to bounce back faster after difficult events in life.

3. Contingency Planning
Okay, you have followed steps one and two, now what? Now you plan for the worst. Having a plan that allows you to take care of yourself in life’s most challenging moments is extremely helpful. Personally, I like to keep a small travel pouch of essential items with me at all times. Inside this emergency kit could include: numbers to your support system, a cue card of any coping mechanisms that work for you, a stress ball or putty, essential oils, tissues, eye drops, headphones, a small object that inspires a sense of calm, a journal and pen to work through thoughts, chocolate, candy, gum, a facial spray, prescribed medication, etc. This is where you can get creative for your personal needs and cater to them accordingly.

Following these steps is a huge step in the right direction. If you are ever feeling that you are in crisis, you can always use Brescia’s mental health resources or call SERT at (519) 661-3300, or the Coast Crisis Line is open 24 Hours: 905-972-8338. Above all, be sure to take care of yourself and do not be afraid to reach out.

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