The end of the year is always a busy time for students and for counselors at Western.
That’s because during this period, students are more likely to suffer some kind of mental health condition such as stress, depression and anxiety due to their school work, affecting not only their well-being, but also their performance at school.
This is in fact a more common problem than students themselves may realize.
According to a 2013 study by the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services, almost 89 per cent of students reported to feel overwhelmed by all they had to do, 37.5 said to feel so depressed to be able to function, 56.5 per cent mentioned to suffer from overwhelming anxiety and an astonishing 10 per cent of students surveyed seriously considered suicide.
And Western University is well aware of these numbers.
That’s why the university makes an effort to offer students multiple resources to help them deal with these issues such as 24-hour help lines, and counseling appointments with more than 20 faculty members from psychologist to social workers.
But during the end of the year, things seem to get more complicated.
Around this time, “We see an increase in ‘crisis appointments’ or ‘panic calls,’” said Brent Scott, in-take counselor at Western.
This is when students approach student services with panic attacks, anxiety and, increasingly over the last couple of years, stress about what they are going to do once they are done school, said Scott.
“What we try to do is to ground the students and make them focus in the present,” he said. “Most of time students feel this way because they are always looking ahead and thinking about multiple things at a time.”
And even though these services are available to students, students can help themselves to deal with their stress.
“There are three main things we always recommend,” said Scoot. “Get enough sleep, make sure you eat properly, and exercise or make time in your schedule for yourself.”