University Mental Health Day Is Also Today

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University Mental Health can encompass so many things. There are many decisions to be made, new community and relationships forged, new living situations, new financial issues, new responsibilities and so forth. It’s not hard to imagine why University students are stressed. Moving and changing communities alone is one of the top most stressful transitions. There are also those who work in Universities where there is always an influx of change in the people they are around.  University Mental Health Day falls on 1 March and it is a national campaign that focuses on ‘mental health of people who live, work and study in Higher Education settings’ and more can be found at UMHD18.

This post is late to the day, but ever so present to the issue and concerns. Do you know someone who is in or works in a University who may be dealing with mental health concerns? Help them know it is okay to not be okay or perhaps offer a coffee date to just openly chat and be heard.

Make everyday an opportunity to allow others to share openly about the stresses of University, whether it be as a student or staff. Even if we may not be in that season or struggle in the same way, being part of the conversation helps one to feel they are not alone. University Mental Health Day is also today.

Happy New Year? What is 2018 To You?

Death_to_Stock_Chasing_Sunrise_9_Julian_DeSchutterHappy New Year! Everyone is saying it to each other as they pass by, well at least where I was this morning. The photo above is not me nor the place I was this morning. But is it a goal of yours?

I’ll start your new year with some questions to get the adventure started. Is the new year looking happy for you? We often begin the new year with great hope and joy, looking forward to change and new beginnings, to only be followed by disappointment only a few short weeks after.

What is 2018 to you? What does it look like as you try to imagine the rest of the 364 days left of this new territory you have barely set foot on? Not sure?

Well, what would you like 2018 to look like? Perhaps you have set New Year Resolutions again and you know what it will look like, there will be no checks or cross offs to say you successfully achieved it. It never has. Are you tired of having the same life without achieving the goals you set out at every new year? Perhaps what was working for you, just stopped working now. What if 2018 could look different?

We are at Day 1 of 2018. What is stopping you from achieving that amazing 2018 you imagine yourself looking back on at Day 365 of 2018? We could work together in figuring that out. If you have been considering counselling, what is stopping you again this year?

Royal Family & January 2017

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I wanted to share that I am unfortunately unable to take further counselling enquiries until January 2017. I have been receiving enquiries and thought it may be helpful to share on all my resources of this update. Please email me closer to the date for available appointment times. I will keep updating this blog with other helpful resources and thoughts in the meantime.

Also check this out. I love how the royal family is addressing mental health by being part of the Heads Together Campaign. It’s great to see those who receive a lot of social attention advocate for topics like this.

 

 

 

Rethinking: What are your thoughts on Postpartum Mental Health?

 

I first came across Postpartum Depression as a young University student. One of my Public Health modules involved a project presenting on any health issue we wanted to focus on. That’s when I came across this new subject: PPD or Baby Blues. Well, that’s not true. I heard bits and pieces here and there, but didn’t really know the details of it. I knew that Brooke Shields was the face of representing awareness on the topic in Hollywood as she had experienced it herself and wanted to be open about the issue. The more people I spoke with, the more surprised I became at how few people actually even knew this existed. I found myself publicly raising awareness not just for my project sake, but I was actually educating people about it in real life. That’s when the desire began to explore this field a bit further.

Now, as a counsellor, I get to work with this topic. It’s amazing when I have clients come before giving birth and we can explore this area and even better when we can continue after they’ve given birth. One of the many reasons I began online video counselling was because I desired to offer an option for mothers who felt limited or too overwhelmed to make the initial steps of walking out their front door, which can be common for those experiencing postpartum depression. Women have varying reasons for not sharing this portion of their journey with others.

The link below is a Buzzfeed video about Andrea Yates and a brief history of her journey with her depression before she took the lives of her children. As one can see, there are many comments with varying opinions. What are your thoughts?

Buzzfeed Video: Andrea Yates & Postpartum Psychosis

Many people say they will delay counselling for when they reach a crisis point. While it is highly recommended and very helpful to attend counselling when one is at such seasons, it can be said that it is possibly even more helpful to seek counselling before an issue reaches this crisis point. The questions worth asking here are, what’s causing the delay in counselling? why does it need to reach crisis point to do something about it? or what would happen if you went to a counsellor now?

 

 

Getting Started is The Hardest Step

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It is shared by many, this procrastination that becomes our best friend when we desire to take the first step towards something. It is comforting until the dread of ‘TO DO’ lists come into play and it seems to rob the initial joy of starting something new. Sound familiar? We have all been there, but say there are varying reasons for this procrastination, no?

I have been meaning to start this mental health blog for a very long time now, but life seems to always get in the way. Mostly, it has been difficult because I wanted the first post to be really helpful for my readers and I just could not decide which topic to address first. But as I sat in the very moment and with other conversations coming into play, I realised I was sitting in the very dilemma most of my clients sit with or have sat with at one point. Taking the first step towards something. It could be anything.

Whether it be the first step to look for a counsellor and book an initial consultation, the first step to try something new or to return to something which now seems like ancient history, it can be the most difficult and daunting step. So this post may not address all the other mental health topics I initially had in my mind, however, I find it quite relational and in the moment. Even as an Integrative counsellor myself, I am not immune to this procrastination of the ‘first’. If it seemed like I am and amongst others, possibly we are just more aware of it. This is part of counselling, unlocking awareness of certain parts of our ourselves and then comes that part again…the first step.

I look forward to sharing more about mental health in this space. Follow me for updates as they come!