It’s Mental Health Week here at Life@UofT! Mental health is super important to me— after years of struggling with my mental health, I finally decided to get help at U of T last spring. Though it definitely didn’t fix all my problems, accessing mental health services put me on a path to recovery and changed the way I thought about my mental health.
I’ve already written a post talking about my experiences accessing mental health services at U of T and explaining what’s available to students. This week, I’ll be reflecting on what finally pushed me to get mental health help— one of the most important decisions of my life!
- I realized that my mental health was impacting my relationships.
Because I was dealing with low self-esteem and many other issues, getting mental health help didn’t seem like something that mattered; I didn’t really care about making my health better or trying to fix my problems. But, I began to notice that my mental health didn’t just impact me— it impacted the people closest to me, sometimes really damaging my relationships and hurting others.
Once I realized this, I knew I had to get mental health help to avoid hurting people I cared about. I’m so glad that I did, because getting help has allowed me to navigate relationships in a much healthier way and take responsibility for my actions.
2) I felt like my mental health was impacting my life long-term.
I also started to notice that my mental health was impacting my ability to get school work done. It was hard for me to focus on work, and as a result, I completed most of my assignments last-minute, pulling all-nighters to get them done in time.
This felt really physically and mentally unhealthy, and was preventing me from enjoying school. Realizing this made me understand that getting mental health help was the responsible thing to do, for both my present and future self.
3) I had help from my friends.
Finally, the decision to actually contact mental health services at U of T would never have happened if not for my friends. Thankfully, I had a friend who talked me through his experience with mental health services and sent me all the links and information I needed. Even though this was information I could have found myself, having someone explain everything to me was incredibly helpful.
That’s a huge reason why I wrote my blog on accessing mental health services- I hoped that for anyone else looking to access them, a simple summary of what’s available would make it a lot easier to take that first step.
No matter your relationship to mental health, I hope this week’s posts can help foster positive dialogue about mental health and help students get the resources they need. As always, feel free to comment any questions if you need help accessing or understanding mental health services at U ofT !