Life as a graduate student can be great, especially when you have taken the time to orient yourself with your department and new colleagues (as Amanda suggested earlier this month) and Kingston (Jeremy has some great ideas on that). But, there is often a lot pressure coming from supervisors to get research moving quickly, a lot of coursework to do, and a lot of pressure from us to exceed ‘expectations’. So, life as a graduate student can be, tricky, at times.
At other times, life is overwhelming and simply unbearable. Every year a lot of students come to Queen’s with mental health issues (for example, depression or anxiety) and it’s important to continue receiving care. There are also a lot of students who begin to experience mental health problems after they’ve been here for a while. This post is to help all students, new and returning, get oriented with mental health resources at Queen’s and in the Kingston community.
“Is this bad enough to seek help?”
It can be hard to know where the line is between being able to work through a tough time with the coping skills you have and needing to speak with a mental health professional to learn new ways of coping. The short answer is, it’s never too early to reach out for help, and there’s never any harm. Here is a link to a website that can help you recognize when you need help and ways to approach finding help. If you’re interested in getting a rough idea of some characteristics of mental health and how you measure on them, you can take the Mental Health Meter!
“I think I want to talk to someone. Where can I go?”
There are a number of resources for Queen’s graduate students to find help for mental health issues. Fortunately, the Queen’s AMS (Alma Mater Society) has compiled a shortlist of mental health resources for both Queen’s and the Kingston community. In addition,
- At Queen’s:
- Mental Health Support Network: Peer support services.
- Hotel Dieu Hospital Adult Mental Health Program (613-548-6095) – provides psychiatric consultation and assessment in general psychiatry and anxiety disorders on an outpatient basis.
- Providence Care, Outpatient Mood Disorders: access to individual and group therapy by a physician referral.
“I am in crisis and I need immediate help”
If you are considering suicide, or if you have experienced an assault, HCDS has listed some very useful contacts.
Most of these resources provide care through a more traditional medicalized system of health care. There are also alternatives to this approach. For a discussion on other perspectives on mental health that have been explored on campus recently, have a read of Sharday’s Gradifying post from November of last year.
If you, or a friend or colleague, is struggling, please know that there are many resources available to you. If you know any other resources at Queen’s or in the Kingston community, please feel free list them for your fellow readers. Have fun here at Queen’s, and stay healthy!