Group of empty chairs arranged in a circle, facing each other

Finding Support Through Group Therapy

Knowing how to find and use the mental health services available to you on campus can be a daunting task. I’ve heard from students who have found great counsellors at the Health and Wellness Centre and others still who, not knowing what kind of support they were exactly looking for, were overwhelmed with where to start.

One of the things I found most helpful among the mental health services that I have had experience with were the CBT groups offered at Health & Wellness.

Group of empty chairs arranged in a circle, facing each other
source: outlookcbt.com

Finding Your Way Back After “Failures”

Even though everyone experiences failure, nobody wants to broadcast them. And it’s definitely hard to talk about them at a competitive school such as U of T. When you’ve experienced academic setbacks at a high-achieving school it’s hard to convince yourself that you can bounce back from it. At least that was the case for me. I saw the ‘failures’ as now-permanent features of my character and less like ‘stumbles’ or ‘setbacks’ (which, in the grand scheme of things, they actually were).

So what’s important when you’re trying to bounce back from setbacks?

Robarts Library
Coming back from setbacks can all be rather intimidating, just like Robarts.
(c) University of Toronto

Meet the Crew!

Hey y’all!

Inspired by Annette’s post about the MoveU Crew, I’d like to share some of the fabulous features of the HealthyU Crew that I’ve been fortunate to be a part of in a communications role. I love being able to share our successes and achievements around campus— especially because an awesome team of students and volunteers are responsible for planning and executing the campaigns and events! Perhaps you’ve seen them at Clubs Day, Street Festival, in libraries and common spaces, and at walkabouts around campus… Here’s a snapshot of each of the four themed-teams that make up the Crew!

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The HealthyU Crew is a combination of four healthful initiatives: HappyU, FuelU, MoveU, and SafeU

My Visit to the Sexual Education Centre

Happy February!

In my last post, I wrote about all the super resources we have on campus that can help you lead a healthy student life. This week, I decided to investigate another great resource on campus – the Sexual Education Centre (SEC)!  The SEC is located at the Sussex Clubhouse and if you didn’t already know, is famous for its nearly infinite supply of free condoms.

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The door to the SEC office is open to all students on campus, undergrad and graduate!

This was essentially the sole fact I knew about SEC before I visited. What I found was that while the office did indeed boast of an incredible quantity and variety of condoms (see the “menu”), it also contained a wide array of resources and supports for all things related to sex, sexuality, and relationships.

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I quote directly one of the centre’s volunteers: “For 50cents of your annual student fees you can get an infinite amount of condoms.”

My welcome to the centre was quite positive. I was greeted by a number of smiling faces when I walked in, supplied with a wealth of information during my visit, and seen off with a “grab bag” filled with safer-sex products. The centre is open Monday – Friday, 10 am – 7pm, during the Fall/Winter semesters, and everyone is welcome.

Healthy Campus 101

Hi all!

Sometimes, it can feel as if being a student is a barrier to living a healthy lifestyle. It’s easy to get caught up in a mindset that eating instant ramen daily, experiencing irregular sleep patterns, and becoming caffeine-dependent are inevitable consequences of being a proper university student (sometimes I think these things myself). But, really, with all the resources we have at the St. George campus to better our health, is it possible that this mentality is simply an illusion? I have a sneaking suspicion that the student gig does not necessarily need to include attending random clubs’ AGMs for the free pizza.

In preparation for this week’s Design For Change conference, I decided to brainstorm a list of ways that UofT is a Healthy Campus in line with some of the themes of the roundtable discussions at the event.  On Thursday, student and staff will get together at Hart House to discuss designing a shared vision for a healthier University at the first annual Design for Change conference, and we (students) are all invited! That sounds pretty super to me.

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peanut butter and exam jam

Hey there!

The Community Crew has been sharing some great tips recently for de-stressing during exam season. Annette wrote about staying active when we are busy; Tiffany provided some very helpful study tips in her post; Madeline (our Arts & Science Blogger) wrote about remembering to eat healthfully; and Emma recently discussed the importance of taking breaks.

Now imagine taking all these tips and tricks, and showcasing them all in one lobby. That’s exactly what happened this past Thursday, as part of UofT’s annual Exam Jam – 2015 edition!

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Brought to us in the spring and winter exam season by the ASSU and the Faculty of Arts & Science and friends

Somewhere in the building students reviewed with their profs, and elsewhere there were open study rooms to hang out in. The lobby was alive with activities!

safeTALK

I recently chose to attend the safeTALK: Suicide Alertness for Everyone training for the same reason I decide to take First Aid and CPR training every year: I want to know what to do if someone needs my help. In other words, if ever I encounter someone who is thinking or talking about harming themselves, I want to make sure I can respond appropriately and feel confident in doing so. The safeTALK training helped me in many of these aspects, and incorporated a variety of helpful resources including a take-home manual, video modules, wallet cards, as well as opportunities to engage in role play.

 The Resource Book contains the course information, plus additional readings about suicide prevention policies, healing after a suicide has happened, and mental health.
The safeTALK Resource Book contains the course information, plus additional readings about suicide prevention policies, healing after a suicide has happened, and mental health.

I’ve included my thoughts and notes about how the training went here!

The Yellow Brick Road: Tips for First-generation Students

Follow the yellow brick road. Follow the yellow brick road. Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow (follow, follow?) the yellow brick road, the munchkins of Oz sing. For Dorothy, the yellow brick road is the path she needs to take to get to her destination—the Emerald City. Without the road, her journey would have been a bit more difficult.

 

A forest trail covered in leaves.
Imagine my disappointment when this yellow road didn’t lead to an emerald city, just a clearing filled with . . . dirt.