Ask a councillor

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Question:

Aside from one-to-one counselling available to students, what does VIU offer to support students struggling with their mental health and to educate the student population about mental health and illness?

Answer:

Thank you for this very important and relevant question. As a society, we are still learning how to build and maintain our mental health, to prevent and recover from mental illness, and to support each other. VIU is committed to fostering well-being in the campus community. Here are some of the supports available to students:

Groups: Several ongoing groups to support students’ mental health and well-being are being offered through Counselling Services including Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, a Walk and Talk drop-in group, and a group for students to learn life skills and manage stress and depression called Changeways.

Workshops & Events: We offer various workshops, including holistic energy care, chair yoga, and workshops about stress and mental health, and we participate in events to raise awareness such as Bell Let’s Talk Day. We have just concluded Thrive Week at VIU, a collaborative week of events focused on building positive mental health. Also, since a common issue impacting students’ mental health is loneliness, we are introducing a new initiative called Talk To Me to support building social connections.

Other services: The Nurse Practitioners at the VIU Health Clinic support many students with their mental health through assessment, education, medication and support with lifestyle changes. Disability Access Services also provides information, support services and reasonable accommodation to students with documented mental illnesses. In addition, a Student Success Coach at VIU offers workshops and individual coaching that can help students create healthy habits, achieve better balance, address self-limiting beliefs and develop strengths.   

Screening: Each semester, a biometrics clinic is offered on campus, where students can have their health indicators assessed and screen for risks. This now includes screening for anxiety, depression, risky drinking, and overall well-being. We offer lots of further information at events like this for students who want to learn more about topics related to mental health and well-being.  

Further resources: The Counselling Services website also has an extensive list of resources that includes apps designed to support mental health, information about mental illness and related issues, and training modules that can help work through various difficulties. We also refer to other resources in the community that offer more intensive therapy, such as addictions treatment.

Thank you for your interest and commitment to learning about mental health! We hope you can take advantage of the many resources VIU has to offer.


Have a question about mental health and well-being for a counsellor? Please submit your question to ask@thenav.ca. Please note that this is not a way to request counselling services or to seek help for an emergency.

Warmly,

The VIU Counselling Team