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As of Nov 30, 2023, people across Canada can  call and text 9-8-8, a new three-digit service, for help when they need it most. The service offers trauma-informed and culturally affirming support to anyone who is thinking of suicide, or who is worried about someone they know. While the focus is on suicide prevention, the service can be accessed for any mental health concern.

The transition from summer sunshine to the chilly months of Fall and Winter can sometimes bring a cloud of gloom. Seasonal Affective Disorder, a type of mild depression or reduction in energy, is caused by a reduction of exposure to sunlight. That's why we're thrilled to announce that the Faculty of Engineering now has Light Therapy (SAD) lamps available for sign-out!  

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Supporting a Person in Distress

Most of us have complex lives with competing demands and priorities. No matter how strong our coping skills are, there are days when the pressure and challenges are just bigger than our skills. Those moments of overwhelm can lead to feelings of distress. There are many reasons why colleagues or students might be having a difficult time. It is likely that at some point each of us will be called upon to support someone in distress.  

In recent years, there has been increasing awareness of the need for male allyship in academic settings, both in Canada and around the world. This is because academic institutions are still largely dominated by men, particularly in fields like science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Women and other marginalized groups may face various barriers to success in these fields, including discrimination, bias, and a lack of representation.

Amid a worsening housing situation, students are increasingly targeted by rental scams. The Community Wellness Team and the Engineering Community Roundtable, using data from the University of Waterloo Special Constables Service, warn of two prevalent scams: Fraudulent Property Rentals, where scammers advertise non-existent or misleading properties and may request personal details, and Fraudulent Renters, where scammers pose as potential tenants, overpay, and ask for a refund. To safeguard against these, students are advised to physically visit properties, thoroughly review contracts, verify renter details, and be wary of overpayment refunds. If affected, students should report to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center and local police, and utilize resources like the University of Waterloo Special Constable Services. Emotional support is available through Counselling Services or EmpowerMe Student Care. Students are urged to remain vigilant and consult department student advisors or Wellness contacts for guidance.