Make your well-being a priority and don’t be afraid to reach out if you need help
Over the past few years, there’s been a surge in demand for mental health services on campuses across North America, and McGill is no exception. More and more students are reaching out for help, and while that might make you think that mental illness diagnoses are also on the rise, studies show that isn’t the case.
So what does all this mean? Mental illness isn’t increasing, but students are much more likely to reach out for help when they are struggling. The stigma around mental illness continues to break down, and that’s very good news. But it also means that the traditional mental healthcare model we’ve relied on for decades needs to be rebuilt, as it wasn’t designed to handle the wide variety of cases we see today. To make sure every student has access to the right care for their unique needs at the right time, we need a new approach.
A new model for changing needs
That’s where Collaborative Care—the approach we’re developing at McGill—comes in. It’s based on a model that’s been endorsed by a long list of Canadian and American psychological and psychiatric associations (not to mention many other organizations and governments worldwide).
At its core, Collaborative Care is about creating a flexible, holistic model of care, informed by mental health research, that connects students to the most effective resources to improve their well-being.
Recommit to your own self-care
The beginning of a new term is a great time to recommit to your own self-care. Whether it’s looking out for your day-to-day well-being or finding help in an emergency situation, there are numerous supports available on- and off-campus to help you take charge of your mental health.
Take the time now—before things get even more hectic—to learn what resources are available and how to access them. Don’t be afraid to reach out when you need help, and if you’re facing a crisis, get help immediately.