The benefits of good mental health
The Canadian Mental Health Association reminds us that, “just as physical fitness helps our bodies to stay strong, mental fitness helps us to achieve and sustain a state of good mental health. When we are mentally healthy, we enjoy our life and environment, and the people in it. We are better able to cope with difficult times in our personal and professional lives. We feel the sadness and anger that can come with difficult events, but in time, we are able to get on with and enjoy our lives once again.”
Experiencing difficult situations
From time to time, we all experience difficult situations. They are part of life. We all try to cope with these events and move on. However, sometimes after traumatic incidents, individuals struggle to move on even after any threat of danger has passed. These individuals may begin to feel isolated, have nightmares and/or become emotionally numb. If these feelings last for over a month, it is diagnosed as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is caused by a psychologically traumatic event. This can include anything from a car accident to a natural disaster to knowing that a close friend or colleague has been harmed or seriously injured. Symptoms of PTSD usually surface within 3 months of experiencing a traumatic event. There are three categories of symptoms usually experienced:
1. Powerful recurrent memories and flashbacks to the event
2. Avoidance and emotional numbing: Avoiding encountering anything that may remind them of the event & withdrawal from family and friends
3. Changes in sleeping patterns and increased alertness
Ways to get help
If in your personal or professional life you experience a traumatic event, know others who have experienced a traumatic event, or feel as though you may be or someone you know may be suffering from PTSD, there are ways to get help right here at McGill.
For Staff – The McGill Employee Assistance Program
The Employee Assistance Program or EAP, is a confidential counselling service for you and members of your family. The program offers confidential, short-term counselling (4-6 sessions) and referral services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – at no cost to you.
The EAP is designed to provide you with direct access to experienced professionals who will help you resolve your problems – before they affect your health, family life or job performance.
Call (514) 843-7009 or 1 800 567-2433
To learn more about the Employee Assistance Program at McGill, click here: http://www.mcgill.ca/hr/bp/benefits/eap
For Students – McGill Counselling Services
Whether providing assistance during a crisis, teaching relaxation techniques, or discussing a failed exam or broken heart, the McGill Counselling Service is available to help. The office works to provide students with effective therapy, knowledgeable support, and the opportunity to develop the skills they need to be successful in both school and life.
There are numerous ways to receive help:
1. Crisis Drop-In Service: Students experiencing a crisis can drop in any time in Suite 4200 of the Brown Student Services Building between 9 am and 4 pm and be seen by an on-call counsellor at the first available opportunity.
2. Groups & Workshops: Students can attend group counselling or workshops where they can discuss feelings with others to counter feelings of isolation and share things in common. The sessions range in focus and students can register online here: http://www.mcgill.ca/counselling/workshops
3. Individual Appointment: Students can also make individual appointments with the McGill counselling services. Students will first undergo an intake appointment where a discussion of the best way to seek assistance will be provided. Learn more about making individual appointments here: http://www.mcgill.ca/counselling/contact
4. Mental Health Services Clinic: This clinic is for students experiencing mental health difficulties and see’s students on an urgent drop-in basis Monday to Friday from 9 am to 3:30 pm. Appointments can also be booked over the phone at 514-398-6019, by email at email@example.com or in person in Suite 5500 of the Brown Student Services Building. To learn more about the Mental Health Services Clinic, click here: http://www.mcgill.ca/mentalhealth/
For additional information on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and what you can do to recover from it, visit the Canadian Mental Health Association online at http://www.cmha.ca/