U of R supports Bell Let’s Talk Day and recognizes the importance of mental well-being

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: January 26, 2022 8:00 a.m.

Counselling Services at the U of R offers Time-Limited Consults and e-counselling sessions for students.
Counselling Services at the U of R offers Time-Limited Consults and e-counselling sessions for students. iStock

Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day and the University of Regina recognizes the important role that mental health plays in our overall health and well-being. Here are some valuable resources and tips to help care for your own mental wellness and to keep the conversation going. Let’s all keep being there for ourselves and each other.

The University of Regina’s Mental Wellness Hub serves as a one-stop digital resource for mental wellness support for students, faculty, and staff. The Hub includes information on emergency and crisis assistance, training and workshops, community resources, and mental health resources available on campus.

“We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has created many uncertainties, changes, and stressors for students,” says Rob McCaffrey, Mental Health Advisor for Health, Safety & Wellness. “There are several mental health resources and programs here at the U of R, and within our community, that they can access, and we encourage them to reach out anytime they need support or someone to talk to.”

McCaffrey says it’s also important to be proactive with your mental health and to take action before it gets to a point of crisis or emergency. Aside from talking to someone, this could mean participating in a program such as Mindful Mondays, or reaching out to one of the student centres on campus such as the Student Success Centre, the ta-tawâw Student Centre, the Women’s Centre, or the UR Pride Centre for Sexuality and Gender Diversity.

For students who may be looking for someone to talk to, Counselling Services offers both Time-Limited Consults and e-counselling sessions for students. Time-Limited Consults are scheduled, single-session consultations with a Student Support Coordinator or a registered psychologist. The consults provide time-responsive solution-focused support to help you gain insight, formulate options, and identify additional resources to assist with your current mental health concerns.

E-counselling sessions are scheduled therapy appointments with a registered psychologist. You can expect evidence-based therapy to help you actively shift your mindset and develop new skills or alternative behaviours to assist with your identified mental health goals. The frequency and number of appointments are determined based on your therapy goals.

If you would like to schedule a Time-Limited Consult or e-counselling session, you can fill out the Time-Limited Consult consent form or the counselling consent form. Once you submit the form, keep an eye on your email and one of Counselling Services’ clinicians will be in touch with you.

The Online Therapy Unit at the U of R offers adults free Online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for a number of mental health concerns. They currently offer four different versions of their Welling Course: Wellbeing for Mental Health, UniWellbeing, Chronic Health Conditions Course including Chronic Pain, and Public Safety Personnel.

For those who are looking for immediate assistance or support, they can contact the Crisis Line Powered by Kids Help Phone by calling 1-800-668-6868 or by texting "UofR" to 686868.

Five tips for better mental health that you can start doing today

Keeping your mind healthy is a daily balance. We all have stress; be it from school, work, relationships, money, or the changes brought on by the pandemic.

The good news? There are steps you can take to manage that stress and offset it with positive experiences.

Rob McCaffrey gathered expert advice and evidence from research for these five tips to care for your mental health. Check them out and see how you can work them into your daily routines!

  1. Get moving

Exercise reduces anxiety and depression. Whether you run, ski or garden, moving your body is a good way to relax your mind. Maybe you used to go to the gym, but haven't recently due to COVID. Consider trying videos and apps to help you get moving without leaving your living room. You could also try adding a morning walk to your daily routine.

  1. Limit your caffeine and alcohol

Eating well helps your body and your mind. In particular, avoid having too much caffeine. It can affect your sleep and worsen anxiety, according to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). Drink alcohol in moderation too – it’s a well-known depressant. If you drink a lot of alcohol, there are effective ways to cut down on your drinking.

  1. Stay connected with family and friends

Studies have shown that friendships can help you live longer. Throughout our lives, connections with others influence our health in different ways. At any age, we benefit from having friends with whom we can share our problems. After about 50, having a larger friend circle even seems to protect against high blood pressure and inflammation. While it may not be possible to get together in person right now, virtual connections still count. From group chats to online trivia, there are several ways to stay socially connected while apart.

  1. Get some sleep

If you’re feeling grouchy, your sleep habits may be part of the problem. Good sleep can help you be alert, productive, focused and happy. It's also good for your immune system. To get the best sleep possible, follow simple sleep guidelines like setting a schedule and limiting your screen time. If you’re lying in bed awake, get up and do something else for a while. If nothing is working, talk with your doctor or consider options like cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia.

  1. Reach out for help when you need it

If you notice significant changes in your behaviour or your mood, it may be time to consider seeing a therapist. Reach out for help sooner than later if you feel you need to.

The University has committed to creating a healthy campus community and learning environment in its 2020-25 strategic plan All Our Relations, or Kahkiyaw kiwȃhkomȃkȃninawak in Cree. Well-being and Belonging is one of the five Areas of Focus in the strategic plan, with three interconnected objectives below it: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; Healthy Living; and Mental Health Literacy and Research.

Bell Let's Talk

Photo credit: https://letstalk.bell.ca toolkit