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Looking after our Mental Health
Wendy Turriff and Graeme Swan

With Mental Health Week upon us (May 4-10), it seems fitting, particularly during this time of uncertainty, to remind ourselves of the importance of caring for our psychological well-being. Taking care of our minds is just as important as taking care of our physical well-being; what can we do to look after our mental health?

  • Talk about your feelings; it's not a sign of weakness to express yourself when you are feeling troubled
  • Stay in touch with others through phone calls, notes, emails, or online chats
  • Ask for help when you feel overwhelmed
  • Take a break, either an active one or a nonactive one; "me time" is important for our mental health

UBC Okanagan is partnering with the B.C. Psychological Association to offer free psychological first-aid to all BC residents:

“Residents seeking assistance can access the service by filling out a short online form on the BCPA website or by calling 604-827-0847. Once submitted, they will receive a call from one of 200 volunteer registered psychologists within 24 to 48 hours. Considered best practice in times of crisis, psychological first-aid is a brief, up to 30-minute, telephone consultation designed to provide information and strategies to help people cope with mental health struggles related to traumatic events.” (UBC Okanagan News, April 15, 2020)

Whether you choose this kind of support or not, remember to guard your own emotional health during this time by:

  • Being aware of your own symptoms of stress
  • Acknowledging that it is okay to be struggling
  • Understanding it is okay to reach out for help; find your inner courage and talk to a partner, friend, neighbor, or counsellor/therapist
  • Being kind and gentle to yourself

Submitted by Wendy Turriff and Graeme Swan, Junior School Counsellors