Empowering students to improve their mood

Empowering students to improve their mood

February 21, 2014


By Mark Kerr, Senior Communications Officer

Health, Counselling and Disability Services (HCDS) has created a new online workbook designed to help students understand and improve their mood.

[Front cover of workbook]Your Best You: Improving Your Mood is available in both print and digital formats.

“This easily accessible self-help workbook will serve as a valuable resource for students who are motivated to make a change in their life,” says Mike Condra, Director, HCDS. “The worksheets offer students the opportunity to apply what they learn, which evidence suggests is an effective way to ensure the change is lasting.”

Your Best You: Improving Your Mood is designed specifically for Queen’s students and is most appropriate for people who are experiencing low mood or mild to moderate depression. HCDS strongly recommends that students experiencing severe depression complete the workbook under the guidance of a counsellor, physician or another health care provider.

Mary Acreman and Kim Thomas, HCDS counsellors, and research assistant Nicole Persall (Artsci’14) developed the online resource, which is also available in print format. The workbook is based on cognitive behavioural therapy, an evidence-based method for providing counselling services. The resource provides information about low mood, case studies describing sample situations, tools and worksheets designed to improve mood, and a list of campus and community resources.

Ms. Acreman and Ms. Thomas agree that university is a challenging period of time and it is common for students to experience unique stressors. The workbook builds on the strengths they already have, encourages resilience and provides useful tools to manage their mood.

Ms. Persall said she anticipates students will find the online resource relevant and helpful.

“From a student’s perspective, I think that the workbook will be beneficial because it has been tailored to Queen’s students and their experiences, making it relatable,” she says. “Not only is it easy to access, but it can also be used in conjunction with existing resources at Queen’s. I think that many students will have something to gain from this new resource.”

Students can download a PDF of the workbook and worksheets for free from the HCDS website. A separate Word document of the worksheets and an alternate format for visual accessibility are also available to download. Students can also purchase a printed copy from HCDS for $20. HCDS intends to raise awareness of the workbook among residence dons and Residence Life Coordinators and other members of the Queen’s community.