Two weeks ago, I visited the on-location Health & Wellness counsellor here at the Faculty of Engineering. It was one of the biggest steps I have taken on my journey to understanding my health and getting the proper accessibility needs. I wasn’t sure what to expect – I didn’t know what a counsellor did or how it would benefit me. But I knew that if I did not book the appointment now, I would never do it.
I brought my referral I received from my doctor at Health and Wellness to the first floor of the Koffler Student Services Centre. Just like that, I found a date and time the following week to attend a session with one of the Engineering on-location counsellors. The concept of having someone in my Faculty brought my hopes up – I felt as though it would be more directly related to the struggles I had without broad generalizations. I felt hopeful.
It was the day of my appointment. I felt incredibly nervous, it was a new situation with someone I had never met. I sat down in the cheerful blue office with comfortable seats and was warmly greeted by the counsellor. I proceeded filling out forms, signing confidentiality papers, and so on; a standard process for the counsellor to better understand my situation. I knew what I would disclose, or choose not to, in this room could stay there and I would not be judged for what I said. As someone who is open, this process was not the most difficult.
The rest of the half-hour was used to describe my situation including my concerns, fears, and goals. It was nice knowing that my multitude of thoughts wasn’t a jumble to someone. However, this was just the first appointment, just a small scratch of the surface of what was to come. Still, I immediately got to set goals and got recommendations for what I was struggling with: attend a workshop, drop an extracurricular, and attend Mindful Moments on campus. I did two out of the three things and already found it beneficial to get a clearer understanding of my situation.
My first experience was incredibly positive, and I am looking forward to my second appointment. I will not glorify this experience though – making this step was incredibly difficult and took me more than a year to get myself to do. Disclosing information and seeking help is tiring and can take a toll. I have been missing classes upon classes, but I told myself that my health is most important. I have been repeating this statement a lot in my blogs: My health comes first. For now, this experience is a bit stressful while it is simultaneously beneficial. It will lead to a better me, I know it will.
I know counselling has already helped me. Maybe you have tried it out and it didn’t achieve the same thing. Maybe you have found a different way to cope and manage wellness. Getting help is a matter of finding out what’s best for you and what you feel comfortable with. It takes a leap, but you can make the jump.