This week is Mental Health Week. Getting to mental health is not just about what you do for yourself, by yourself—everyone needs healthy and supportive places to work, live and learn. Here are ten resources at Carleton and in the community to help.
Getting help means admitting you need it. It can be difficult to talk about your mental health, but it could be one of the most important decisions you ever make. If you know you need help with your mental health, or are just curious as to what services are available to you as a student, reach out to one of these resources below.
If you’re lost and don’t know where to turn, Carleton’s Health and Counselling Services office is the place to get started. Most of the other items on this list at least begin with a trip to 2600 CTTC Building, or you can get in touch with them without leaving your bed by calling 613-520-6674.
The service is free—you’re paying for it with your tuition—so there’s no excuse to not at least try it out. Wait times can be long, but they’re always happy to fit you in whenever they can.
Be warned: if you miss an appointment without cancelling first, you will be charged a no-show fee of $75—the threat of which can cause mental health issues all on its own.
- Scheduled Counselling
Once you set up an appointment, you’ll most likely be seeing a counsellor. Counsellors can talk to you about strategies for coping with stress and talk you through any issues you’re going through. They can’t diagnose or prescribe you medication for mental illness, but they can recommend you to people that can. They will push you to see them more than once, but there’s no obligation to.
- Walk-in Counselling
If you are going through something urgent, there is walk-in counselling that lets you skip the line and see someone immediately. It’s open Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. It can fill up quickly and is on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Medical Doctor
For mental health issues that are more severe—major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, etc.—see a medical doctor. They will ask about your symptoms, family history with mental illness, maybe even a blood test to fully diagnose you. Then they will tell you what they recommend in terms of treatment.
If you already have a doctor you’re seeing, then you have access to this diagnosis process already. If you don’t, a counsellor can refer you to one.
Counsellors can also recommend you to psychiatrists. There are four psychiatrists at Carleton, and wait times can be as long as 9 months, but it’s possible for arrangements to be made earlier.
Psychologists are a little different from counsellors and psychiatrists in that their services aren’t covered by many health plans, but they’re more specialized—for example, just in dealing with anxiety. They might be outside your price range, but are still worth looking into as an option.
Carleton has partnered with an online therapy programmed called TAO (Therapy Assistance Online). It’s free, easy to use and you can register yourself. There’s a set of lessons there for everything from drug use to depression and anxiety.
If you’re covered under CUSA’s Health Benefits plan you have access to Empower Me, a mental health and wellness service that specializes in student issues. You can call 1-844-741-6389 right now and get in touch with a counsellor right away. No lines, and relatively low wait time. It is exclusively a phone call service, but it’s the quickest way to get help and get connected with other resources.
If it’s your grades that you’re worried about, Carleton also provides drop-in academic advising at 302 Tory from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
If you are in a mental health emergency right now, call the Ottawa Distress Line at 613-722-6914.