Last week, we welcomed thousands of new and returning students during Orientation week. This jam-packed week offered exciting programming for students and their families to help them get to grips with life and study at Waterloo. One important message delivered to students was that during this exciting new journey, we have supports in place to help throughout their school year. 

Current graduate student, Tina Chan, remembers her first year at Waterloo in 2012. As an undergrad, Chan experienced first-hand the anxiety that some students may face when transitioning Panic, Anxiety and Stress Support kitfrom high school to university. That led her to create the Panic, Anxiety and Stress Support (PASS) kit. These mental health first aid kits include a stress ball, ear plugs, a sleeping mask, a pack of gum and a deck of 25 flash cards with steps a student can take when they are experiencing anxiety or stress symptoms. 

First year students received a PASS kit as part of their Orientation package. The kits are small and compact so that people can take the kit with them while on campus, and each kit has a personalized message from each faculty dean. 

Supporting student mental health is an ongoing journey for Waterloo staff, students and faculty. Our Campus Wellness team offers resources throughout the school year including counselling services, workshops and peer support. There are also mental health training opportunities for students, staff and faculty with the aim to raise campus mental health awareness, reduce mental health stigma, and support early intervention for those in need within our Waterloo campus community. 

Student receiving one-on-one counselling support

Campus Wellness has been busy distributing thousands of posters, business cards and student support guides to help raise awareness of the services they offer. The Director of Campus Wellness, Walter Mittelstaedt, explains that

"everyone goes through different ups and downs in their life and different people handle challenges in different ways. It is an important reminder for all our students that help is available and to reach out if challenges become overwhelming". 

Students can schedule an appointment for one-on-one counselling by calling 519-888-4567 x. 32655 or stopping by the main office in Needles Hall North, on the second floor. Walk-in hours are from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. For more information about the services available, please visit Campus Wellness.