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It’s normal to feel overwhelmed right now – but mental health help is available.

March 27, 2020 | Health, Campus Life

Mental health supports are more important than ever, as many students are feeling overwhelmed, anxious or worried about the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on their wellbeing. “These are normal responses to an abnormal situation, and we can provide coping strategies and emotional support to help students move forward in a healthy way,” says Annelise Lyseng, a counsellor with MacEwan’s Wellness and Psychological Services (WPS).

Speak to a mental health professional

WPS is still taking appointments – the only difference is that now you’ll speak to a counsellor over the phone, or via online video counselling.

Students must be located in Alberta in order to book an appointment. If you have already been seeing a clinician through WPS, call or email to book an appointment. You can also contact reception at 780-497-5063 or wps@macewan.ca. If you’re booking your first appointment with WPS, you can book an initial consultation by contacting reception.

Preparing for a remote appointment

Make sure that you’re in a place where you feel safe and comfortable, and have the privacy you need. You’ll also want to make sure you have a good phone or internet connection.

And try as we might to make things go smoothly, there might be the occasional bump in the road.

“There may be temporary disruptions during a session with software glitches, internet connectivity issues, or a lack of visual communication cues if we are speaking by phone,” says Annelise. “Be prepared to embrace a little bit of awkwardness as we navigate this change in service delivery together.”

In the meantime, take care of yourself

If you’re still struggling in between sessions with your clinician, Annelise suggests focusing on taking care of yourself in basic, essential ways. “Try to get some fresh air each day, drink plenty of water and nourish yourself with healthy foods, connect virtually with people who are important to you and limit your media checking so that the information isn’t overwhelming,” she says.

Know you’re not alone

This situation is difficult, but it’s not going to last forever. “Take it one day at a time. If that feels too overwhelming, then take it one hour at a time,” says Annelise. “You aren’t alone in this, and one day you will look back and reminisce about that bizarre time you went through back when you were in university.”

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