October 18, 2021

Mental illness can affect anyone and everyone, but for teens and students under the stress of a heavy school load, it can be highly detrimental.

“It is hard sometimes. With the stress of school and the class workload, plus other things going on in life, it can really have a negative affect on me and my mental health,” said Jason Landry, a 17-year-old Delhi high school student.

Conestoga College offers lots of mental health support through the student success services. Although all in-person meetings are canceled due to COVID-19, they are still offering counselling, emergency & crisis care, and mental health support virtually or by phone appointment.

Welcome Centre at Conestoga College, Doon Campus

The most common types of mental illness found in teens are depression and anxiety. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in six teens who suffer from a mental illness are aged 10-19.

Depression is a mood disorder that can affect the way people think, feel and act. Some of the many signs can include feeling unhappy or down all the time, feeling hopeless and not enjoying your favorite activities anymore. Other symptoms can include feeling irritable and angry or a sense of feeling numb all the time.

An anxiety disorder is something that can cause unexpected or unhelpful anxiety. Like depression, it impacts how you think, feel and act. There are many different types of anxiety disorders, but the most common disorder among teens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). It’s a disorder that causes excessive amounts of worry over normal everyday problems. People who have GAD also experience physical symptoms such as sleeping problems and muscle tension.

“A lot of people I know struggle with depression or anxiety, and in today’s world where we can not do anything and are forced to stay inside, it makes it a thousand times harder,” said Landry.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, it’s important to seek help or treatment, especially if the symptoms are starting to get worse. There are many different approaches to getting help with mental illness, but the first step to getting help is acknowledging and accepting that you need help and knowing that you’re not alone in what you are experiencing.

When seeking help for mental illness, there are many different options to consider. Support groups, medication, counselling/therapy, and self-help techniques. It’s important to remember that before taking any medication you should always consult your doctor.

For counselling help at Conestoga College, email counselling@conestogac.on.ca from your Conestoga student email or phone 519-748-5220 ext. 3679 to arrange an appointment. Services are available Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

For mental health help outside of Conestoga’s operating hours, Good2Talk is free to all post-secondary students in Ontario. All appointments with counsellors are free and can be made at all campuses.

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