Mental Health Resources

Taking care of your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic

There have been many rapid changes to protect all of us from the spread of COVID-19. If you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or even depressed as a result, know that you are not alone and that help is available. In times of transition and uncertainty, taking good care of ourselves is more important than ever and OC Counselling Services has some tips and resources to share. 

mental health strategies

  1. Look after your basic needs: eat well, drink lots of water, get enough sleep, get some exercise.
  2. Follow or create a routine: wake up and go to sleep around the same time every day, make your bed, get dressed, set a goal for the day.
  3. Stay connected: using phone, text, video chats or social media, stay in regular communication with friends and family.
  4. Get some fresh air and sunshine when you can: schedule it into your day.
  5. Practice mindfulness using activities such as meditation, yoga, art-making or journaling. You can find many free apps/websites for learning to meditate or doing yoga at home.
  6. Limit the amount of time you watch or listen to media coverage. Find a credible source you can trust to get some facts. Social media is generally not a trustworthy source of information.
  7. Remind yourself that this is time limited. Life will return to normal.

Online Wellness Wednesday Workshops

The Flourish Wellness Project is offering weekly Wellness Wednesday online workshops this spring, with a special focus on strategies to help you cope during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sarah Lefebure, Counsellor on the Penticton campus, will lead the 1-hour drop-in workshops.

Workshop Schedule: Wed 11 am – 12 pm
May 6: Taking care of your mental health during the pandemic
May 13: Time Management in the time of COVID-19
May 20: Self-Compassion in the time of COVID-19
May 27: Making room for emotions in challenging times

To attend any of these workshops, OC students and employees can self-register for the Flourish Wellness Workshop Moodle. To do so, please log into Moodle, click Site home at the left and search for Flourish. If you have any problems with this, please email Sarah at SLefebure@okanagan.bc.ca.

Some additional info about the online workshops:
- Free for all Okanagan College students and employees on any OC campus
- Drop-in – attend as many or as few workshops as you like
- Please make sure you have paper and a pen/marker with you for the workshop
- Try to choose a quiet place in your home where you are less likely to be interrupted

Please note: This is not a counselling group. Individuals requiring therapeutic support are encouraged to seek individual counselling (e.g. through OC Counselling Services for students and the Employee and Family Assistance Program for employees). These workshops are designed to be psycho-educational, which means they will help you to learn about topics related to psychology and how to take care of yourself. To protect the privacy of other participants, we ask that you take what you learned and leave what you heard, especially any specific information about other participants.

Resources for learning more

Coping with stress during the COVID-19 pandemic – World Health Organization

COVID-19 and Anxiety - Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division

FACE COVID – How To Respond Effectively to the Coronavirus Crisis In this brief animation, Dr. Russ Harris, illustrates how to deal with the Corona crisis and the fear, anxiety and worry that goes with it. 

Here2Talk

The provincial government has updated its mental health resources page with virtual services. On Thursday, April 16, the B.C. Government launched launched Here2Talk, a new mental health counselling and referral service for post-secondary students. The service offers confidential, free single-session services by app, phone or online chat, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Learn more at here2talk.ca.

 

Support is available

  • Registered OC students can access counselling via confidential video and phone sessions. Email counselling@okanagan.bc.ca with your full name, 300 number, and campus.
  • Foundry (Kelowna, Penticton) continues to provide primary medical care and counselling for youth 12-24 years of age, as well as some groups which have moved online.
  • If you are in need of immediate listening and support, please contact the BC Crisis Line at 1-888-353-2273 (available 24/7).

Useful apps/websites

Please visit the Student Services webpage for information on how to access a broad range of Student Services.