At Wellness Services, we understand that post-secondary can be stressful and that students have a life outside of academics that also affects their stress levels. We want to ensure students receive holistic support and thus have created a guide to help you recognize signs of distress, respond to the student with empathy and refer the student to the appropriate resource(s).
Our nursing staff is available to provide advice if you are unsure what to do:
What signs or symptoms of distress are you concerned about?
- experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, agitation, grief or anger
- physical health problems
- academic or ﬁnancial concerns
- relationship problems
- experiencing homesickness and/or lack of social support
- atypical behaviour (changes in how the individual behaves)
- substance use concerns
- direct or indirect reference to wanting to die/suicide
- self-harming behaviour such as cutting, hitting or restricted eating
- mental health appears to be signiﬁcantly deteriorating
- crisis: their normal coping mechanisms are not sufficient for the stressors that they are experiencing
It is OK to feel unsure about how to respond, however any of the following responses are better than no response at all.
Ask and listen
Listen actively. Do not try to give advice.
Take their concerns seriously.
Offer hope and support but do not make promises.
Example: providing hope “I am here for you to help you find help” verses making a promise “If you go to the hospital, they will help you.”
Nursing staff: will assess the needs of the student, develop a success plan with the student according to the assessment and then continue to follow up with the student.
You can walk the student down to the Health Clinic and talk to one of our nurses who are trained in assessing physical and mental health concerns.
Shepell Counselling Services:
Mental health concerns or difficulty coping
Academic accommodations for disabilities, including chronic mental health conditions.
403-320-3202 Ext. 5400
Emergency funding or student loan support.
Social connection through clubs, recreation and events, Student Food Bank, and mywellnessplan.ca
Providing assistance to our Indigenous students – from prospective students to alumni – in achieving their career and personal goals.
Mental Health Crisis Intervention Team:
(7 a.m. – 1 a.m.) Pager: 403-381-1116
Distress line of Southwestern Alberta:
Call the distress line at any time to talk to someone who is there to listen to and support you.
There are many on campus education opportunities free of charge that you can take advantage of that will help you recognize, respond and refer someone in a mental health crisis. Refer to the events calendar for upcoming opportunities.
Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health First Aid aims to:
- improve mental health literacy
- increase comfort around responding to mental health issues
- increase help seeking behaviour
- increase knowledge of supportive resources on campus and in the community
- create an inclusive environment
First Responder to Sexual Assault:
A comprehensive two-day training, inclusive of the full continuum of sexual violence and across the lifespan. This training is intended to build the capacity to respond effectively to disclosures of sexual assault and sexual abuse. Survivors who receive safe and supportive responses to disclosures of sexual violence are more likely to reach out for help.
The Inquiring Mind
The Inquiring Mind is geared towards students to increase awareness of mental health, reduce the stigma of mental illnesses and offer resources to maintain positive mental health and increase resiliency. Equally important goals are to create a supportive environment, strengthen the campus culture and contribute to a healthy campus.
Supporting someone through a crisis can be stressful and can affect your health and well-being. Taking care of your well-being is very important. You have access to:
Student Support Program:
Employee Assistance Program: