World Mental Health Day

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World Mental Health Day is observed internationally on October 10. 

Days of Action will observe this day during the week of October 3-7, 2022 at North Campus, Campus Saint Jean, and Augustana. The overall objectives of this internationally recognized day involve raising awareness of mental health around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. This day also encourages us to provide space to talk about mental health and advocate for the additional needs of others around the world so mental health care can become a reality for everyone.

Mental Health: #LightUpPurple

Mental health is something we all need to care for, including, for some, caring for a mental illness. With or without a diagnosed mental illness, we all have mental health that will fluctuate and need care at different periods in our life. What this looks like will vary but we all deserve safe and accessible support that meets diverse needs and experiences. 

It’s normal for mental health to decline but it can be difficult to share that with trusted folks around us, which can prevent us from getting the help we need and prolong suffering. Join us, as we are cooperating with #LightUpPurple, a national campaign focused on the importance of talking with friends, family, and colleagues about our mental health. #LightUpPurple and let folks around you know that talking about mental health is important to you.


World Mental Health Day Events

Days of Action Mindfulness Walks

Join Days of Action for a mindfulness walk on your campus! Open to students, staff and faculty. 

North Campus
October 6
11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Meet in front of the Multi Faith Prayer and Meditation Space in HUB Mall (Outside #172, Rutherford Side) at 11:00 AM. 

In case of bad weather, an indoor meditation will take place inside HUB mall. 

Register here
All Bodies Swim

Free to students, staff, and faculty 

Saturdays 
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
East Pool 


Sundays 
10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
West Pool

More information

Engineering Wellness: Take a Break

Open to all students, staff, and faculty 

October 5, 2022
12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
8 Donadeo Innovation Centre for Engineering

More information

Collective Tea Time: Supporting your Mental Health

Open to all students

Friday, October 14, 
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Location shared upon registration

Register here

Mindfulness, Contemplation & Reflection

Online drop-in sessions facilitated by a Buddhist Chaplain who is a Qualified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction teacher. They will be held on the first Thursday of every month from 11:00 a.m. to 11:40 a.m.

Register here

Free Workshops for Faculty & Staff

Understanding Anxiety & Depression (Virtual Lunch & Learn)
October 4, 2022 
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Register here


Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) (In person)
October 12 & 13, 2022 
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Lister Conference Centre
Register here

The Working Mind (Virtual)
October 19, 2022
8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Register here


Mental Health in the Workplace (Virtual Workshop)
October 19, 2022
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Register here


Caring For Our Mental Health

Mental health looks different for each of us and so it’s necessary to acknowledge intersectional experiences. An intersectional lens also means that mental health care practices will vary. It also reminds us that  diverse circumstances influence how we experience mental health and this necessitates diverse supports.

Student Led Mental Health Groups

Mental Health Supports

Health & Wellness Supports


What Can You Do?

Here are a few suggestions for simple actions that can help foster positive mental health.

Connect with Others

One way we can care for our mental health is to maintain connection with others. Maintaining connections with others can boost meaning, purpose, reduce stress, and foster a sense of belonging. 

 Reach out, even when it’s the last thing you feel you want to do. 

Listen to Others

It’s far too common to answer “I’m fine, thanks” even when it isn’t true. How many of us repeat this when asked “how are you?” because we don’t believe the asker really wants to know. Let’s be a campus that lets each other know that we want to know - and will make space for the real answer.    

Taking a moment to listen in those moments can provide opportunities to support each other through difficult times which can help us get help when we need it.

Listening is a skill that we can all develop with practice. You can take free training through Wellness Supports at the University of Alberta: How to Have a Supportive Conversation.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is an invitation to step out of the clutter and really focus on what we are doing, thinking, and feeling in this moment. It’s a skill developed by deciding to slow down and taking the time to pay attention and be curious about things that we’re experiencing and things that we see around us. 

Research shows that mindfulness can help improve well-being and quality of life. It can help people reduce stress and anxiety, manage symptoms of some mental illnesses and substance use problems, and also improve physical health.

There are many different ways you can practice Mindfulness, from formal sessions to a short check-in with yourself on the way home from class. There is no right or wrong way, and what you experience is what you experience. Here are some quick mindfulness techniques suggested by the CMHA, which you can practice anywhere:  

  • Eat a meal without distractions like TV or any other devices. Pay attention to what you’re eating and the different sensations that come up, and notice how it makes you feel.
  • Go for a walk on campus and set out to really pay attention to the environment around you using all your senses. What do you experience?
  • Talk with a friend face-to-face without any distractions like phones. Focus on the conversation and really listen without judgments or expectations. Notice how you feel. Check in with yourself at any time. What thoughts do you notice? How do they make you feel?
  • Take a minute to sit quietly and focus on the sensation of your breath.  When you find yourself distracted by a thought, acknowledge the thought and redirect your attention back to your breath.

With practice and dedication, we have the ability to “remodel” our brains in ways that can help us to function better. This is known as neuroplasticity. 

Mindfulness traditions and research shows that meditation can cause physical changes in the brain. The more mindful we become, the more our brain adapts to make it our default state.

Join us for a Mindfulness Walk on October 6, 11am - 12pm. Register here.

Mindfulness Resources

Ask For Help

Acknowledge how you’re doing and let trusted friends or family know. Being open with others will let them know how they can help you. Asking for help can include going to campus services you are familiar with and letting them know you need support. 

There may be times when you know your mental health needs support but you’re not sure where to go. There is a wealth of support available on campus that can support a variety of needs.