Mental Health Check-in

Taking care of our mental health regularly helps to maintain wellness during times of stress.

Students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to reflect on their current mental health by asking "How am I doing?" and asking those around us "How are you doing?" to help create an environment of wellness across U of A campuses.

Checking in with yourself

To maintain a state of well-being, we need to check in on our physical, mental, and social health regularly. Mental health is an important part of our well-being, and we often have trouble recognizing what we need to do to achieve it.

Practice checking in with yourself using the following steps:

1. Consider your mental health needs.
e.g. social connection, self-confidence, self-esteem, safety, security, encouragement, etc.

2. Create a mental wellness daily routine.
e.g. healthy social interaction, self affirmation and encouragement, nutrition, sleep, hobbies, etc.

3. Recognize concerning mental health.

Take notice in:

  • How you feel (e.g. excessive or extreme sadness, worry, apathy, etc. lasting more than two weeks)
  • How you think (e.g. confusion, memory, and concentration problems)
  • How you are acting (e.g. agitation or restlessness, physical complaints with no cause, changes in eating and sleeping)

4. Address mental health challenges

  • Get connected and reach out to people you trust - friends, family, professors, co-workers, campus staff or services, etc.
  • Trust your instincts and talk to a doctor, nurse, social worker, psychologist, etc.

Checking in with others

We don't need to be a mental health expert to support others. Being a part of, and helping to create, a strong network of support for others is important so that care may come from many people.

Use the following steps to open a dialogue with someone you are concerned about.

1. Approach a person you think may need support

  • Share your concern about changes you've observed in them (e.g. "I've noticed that you've seemed a little down lately" and "I'm wondering how you're doing?")
  • Ask how they are doing in a way that is compassionate to the changes

2. Invite the person to talk about how they are feeling

  • Ask open-ended questions and practice non-judgmental listening (e.g. "That sounds really hard", or "I imagine that much be difficult right now."). For most, having someone to speak with and feel understood will be enough to help.
  • Share struggles that you've had to demonstrate that they are not alone

3. Refer a person who needs more formal support

  • Explore with them what kinds of professional services would be most useful (e.g. "I really don't know what I'd do; what do you think about getting some experienced advice?"
  • Share the resources on this page with them, or if appropriate for you, support them by asking if they'd like you to help connect them with one of these resources.

It takes courage to reach out and let others know you are struggling, but it enables you to receive the support you deserve.

If you feel you or someone you know will act on thoughts of harming or others, contact emergency or crisis services.