Beat the Winter blues this semester

Looking to beat the winter blues? Don’t worry Thunderwolves we’ve come up with a great list of ways you can keep your mood up this winter despite the cold. 

 

Take some Vitamin D supplements

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin people mainly get from the sun. Due to the shorter days during the winter many people, especially Canadians, report higher rates of vitamin D deficiency during the winter months compared to many other people around the world. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to:

Aches and stiffness

Poor sleep

Feelings of depression or sadness

Lack of appetite

Feelings of weakness

Getting sick more easily. 

Taking a vitamin D supplement can help avoid these feelings and is a quick and simple way to change your routine for the better.

 

Try out a new winter activity

Getting active is one of the top recommended ways to quickly and effectively reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. Luckily with winter here an entirely new set of activities is available to try out. Though many of these activities require specific equipment there are tons available on resale websites like Kijiji. There are also many businesses that rent out equipment as well.

Ice skating and hockey

Tobogganing and sledding

Don’t have a toboggan? Using a piece of cardboard like a pizza box is an excellent quick alternative for a sled in a pinch.

Skiing and snowboarding

Snowshoeing

Play in the snow

Activities like making snow forts are always fun and free. Gather up some friends and see what you can all come up with.

 

Check in

When in doubt it never hurts to check in with mental health support and services that are available to you. 

Student Health and Wellness

Lakehead University’s Student Health and Wellness offers free counselling services to all current Lakehead Students. Check out their website for more information on how to book an appointment with your campuses Student Health and Wellness Services.

WeConnect

WeConnect is a service offered to Lakehead University students through WeSpeakStudent. This service offers self directed courses and modules on how to positively impact your mental health. They also provide a number of self assessment tools that can be used to evaluate your behaviours and provide suggested actions, recommendations, and resources based on your answers.

WellUKey

WellUKey is a new service accessible through Lakehead University has students perform a self assessment of their current mental health and provides them with mental health resources that they may find helpful in the future.

Good2Talk

Good2Talk is a free over the phone service that connects young adults with support services specially designed for the needs of students.

 

Home for the Holidays for 2SLGBTQIIA+ students

The holidays can be mentally and emotionally overwhelming, especially when navigating unsure or unsafe spaces. It is important to remember that no matter how your family feels about your identity, you deserve to be loved unconditionally and others' discomfort with who you are says more about them than it does about you. Over the holidays, you might find yourself in a challenging space, it can be helpful to prepare yourself for feeling hurt or overwhelmed.

Prepping for conversations about gender/sexual identity

Consider what you want to share and discuss with your family members ahead of time. Remember that you decide when, how and if you want to come out and you don’t have to tell your entire extended family. 

Keep in mind not everyone might be familiar with the terms you are using and some explanation may be required. You have the opportunity to define yourself and be clear on what terms mean to you rather than allowing people to rely on their own understanding. But also remember that you also get to decide how much you want to engage in “heated” conversations, you don’t have to defend or validate your identity to anyone. If something like this comes up, calmly but firmly let your family members know that they don’t have to agree with you, but that you do expect them to treat you with respect. These conversations can be hard, but they are important if you want to be able to include your family in your life going forward.

If you do decide to come out to your family, it can be beneficial for both parties to allow time and space for them to process the new information you've given them. Remember, these conversations don't have to happen all in one sitting. Only answer questions you are comfortable with, and take a break when needed.

Setting Boundaries

First and foremost- your family members may have their own thoughts and opinions on your gender identity and sexuality, but ultimately the only opinion that matters is your own.

Consider what limits you want to set with yourself and others before heading home. A lot of family events come from a sense of tradition and obligation, feel free to politely decline invitations if you think it would be better for your emotional health, you don’t owe anyone your time.  If you do attend gatherings, set clear boundaries around what you are willing to discuss and to what extent. Assert yourself in a calm tone. If tension rises and you are beginning to feel overwhelmed or out of control, separate yourself. Take a walk; get a breath of fresh air. 

If you know that it will be difficult to be at your family’s home for long periods- consider how long you should stay- if your break is 3 weeks but you can only handle 4-5 days, plan your flights accordingly. If your family presses you to be there longer, think of an excuse ahead of time.

Bringing a partner home

If you are planning on bringing your partner to family events, discuss with them in advance what will make you comfortable with respect to sleeping arrangements, displays of affection and navigating conversations about your relationship. Also, give your partner information about your family dynamics and share any issues that are weighing on you ahead of time. 

To avoid confusion and conflict, plan sleeping arrangements with your family in advance. If there are members of your family who will be included in your celebration that you haven’t come out to yet, it’s probably a good idea to talk to them ahead of time, as well- addressing concerns in advance can avoid potentially unsafe and uncomfortable situations. 

No matter the situation, you and your partner should approach it as a team - talk about your concerns and plan ahead for ways to be there for each other during the tough moments.

Have an Exit Strategy

Sometimes family dynamics make it difficult to stand up for ourselves and you may feel like you have to sit through unwanted or disrespectful questions and opinions. If you feel comfortable doing so, go for it, but know that it’s okay to remove yourself from stressful, triggering, or upsetting situations. Excuse yourself and go to the bathroom for a few minutes or take a quick walk around the block. Offer to refresh people’s drinks or run to the store for something. A good trick is to set the expectation ahead of time that you might need to step away suddenly. You can blame a looming deadline or an important call that might come up. You can be vague with your excuse, but if you make it ahead of time, it will be less awkward if you need to take some time away later on. 

If things are feeling unsafe or are just getting to be too much, leave altogether if you need to. If you have a feeling that your stay isn’t going to be supportive, plan to leave early. You need to look after yourself first and foremost and no situation is worth compromising your physical or mental health over. If you don’t have access to your transportation- look at bus/train schedules to see what your options are or see if there is a supportive friend that you can stay with on short notice. 

Not Going Home at All

If going home for the winter break fills you with dread or makes you feel unsafe, it's okay to give yourself permission to not go at all. Surround yourself with those who respect and affirm your identity and give you strength and plan activities that bring you joy. Be prepared for feelings of loss around not being able to adhere to your family traditions and make space for your emotions. Plan new traditions with your chosen family, look for events in your community or try to find local organizations you can support.

Practice self-compassion/ self-care

Different people need different kinds of self-care.  Think about how you can make time for what you need over the break. 

  • Keep in touch with supportive people in your life. Make a point to hang out with them or facetime them if they are not nearby. If possible let these people know ahead of time that you may need their support over the break and ask what is the best way to connect. If they aren’t available (the break is busy!) make use of online communities.

  • Take time to decompress. Find quiet spaces in your house or neighbourhood where you can be alone, listen to music, read, or do whatever else you need. 

  • Plan activities that bring you joy. 

  • Take care of the basics- during stressful times we can ignore the basics of self-care like resting, eating well, and exercising. 

Be kind to yourself- you are doing the best you can for the situation you are in. Give yourself permission to rest and recharge. 

Mental Health Supports

Whatever you are dealing with over the break- remember that you don’t have to do it alone- supports are available to you. 

  • Youth Line offers confidential and non-judgemental peer support through our telephone, text and chat services. Get in touch with a peer support volunteer from Sunday to Friday, 4:00 PM to 9:30 PM.

  • GOOD2TALK post-secondary crisis line, call 1-866-925-5454 or text GOOD2TALKON to 686868 

  • TrevorSpace- is an affirming international community for LGBTQ young people ages 13-24.

  • Empty Closets- Empty Closets is an LGBTQ website that offers a forum where you can join in on discussions or start your own, a chat room and useful articles and links. 

  • TalkCampus- A global online peer-to-peer support community for students, available 24/7 anywhere in the world

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

  • Suicide Hotlines Across the World 

  • Pride Central’s “Unofficial Pride at Lakehead” Discord Server:  https://discord.gg/eQ8KxrDh 

Mid-semester Mindfulness

Hey Thunderwolves it’s midterm season which we all know is a hectic time. During these times practicing mindfulness can not only help with reducing stress but it can also help with motivation. We’ve collected some helpful tips and resources for you to use this month to help you get into mindfulness.

 

Body scan meditation is a technique used to look inwards and to assess any sensations your body may be feeling. Body scan meditation is used for many things like stress, improving sleep, greater self awareness, and reducing pain and stiffness. Check out this guided body scan meditation as a way to see if it is a good fit for you.

 

 Take some time to do what you enjoy. Is there a food you love? Take some time to enjoy it and ask yourself why you like it so much. Focusing on small details you enjoy can help you reduce feelings of anxiety. Check out this link for some easy comfort foods you can make to help you refuel for your studies.

 

You have supports available to you. As a Lakehead University student you have access to our counseling services offered through Student Health and Wellness. We even offer same day counseling. Wanting to check in with yourself? Use our new Wellukey tool to complete a self assessment and see any online resources available to you.

 

nterested in some mindfulness that gets your heart pumping? Yoga is an excellent way to get your muscles moving while easing your mind and body with a wide range of stretches, poses and breathing techniques. Below are some local yoga studios offering classes right now!

Thunder Bay

Orillia

 

 

Check In with Your Sleep This Reading Week

Hey, it’s Fall Reading Week! What a great time to Check-In with the Lakehead WellU Key!

Are you eating enough leafy greens? Have you been active today? How's your sleep?

Sleep is critical for learning and memory. The process of learning is actively taken up by your brain during sleep, especially during the REM stage. Sleep is essential for long-term memory formation, and it is during sleep that memory consolidation and enhancement occur.

A lack of good quality sleep can make it harder to focus and think clearly and can cause increased fatigue, irritability, and anxiety during the day. All of which can cause your academic performance to suffer. 

It is not only the number of hours of sleep that matters but other factors such as quality of sleep are important. A common belief is that lost sleep from a late night of studying can be recovered by “sleeping in” another day or taking naps. However, both methods disrupt the body’s circadian rhythms and may deprive the body of deeper sleep stages. It is important to respond, whenever possible, to the body’s natural signals of sleepiness.

If you have fallen into a sleep schedule that is not working for you because you are having trouble getting up in the morning or staying up later than you want, there is no time like the present to get into a new sleep routine.

Try some of the following to get into a sleep pattern that works for you:

- Go to bed early enough to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night

- Be consistent with your sleep schedule, even on the weekends.

- If you need to nap, make it brief; keep it under 15 minutes and before 3pm

- Avoid studying, watching tv, or talking on the phone while in bed.

- Stay away from caffeine and other stimulants later in the day.

- Try to be physically active in some way each day.

- Help your body wind down naturally by turning off digital screens and dimming lights before bed.

- Try an app, like BetterSleep, Sleep Cycle, Pzizz, or Sleepiest.

If your sleep schedule is interfering with your academic work, job, and other responsibilities, if the above strategies don’t work, or if you’re struggling with sleep in any way, talk to your doctor or health care practitioner.

For more information and resources related to sleep check out the Sleep Section of our site!

Person sitting crossed legged writing in a journal

Setting Boundaries

Personal boundaries can be murky- they vary from person to person and occasionally from situation to situation. Even though personal boundaries can be challenging to navigate, learning how to set and communicate them allows you to prioritize your health and wellbeing. 

Take time to reflect on what you want and don’t want in different situations (e.g. work, friendships, romantic relationships).  The key to setting boundaries is first figuring out what you want from your various relationships and setting boundaries based on those desires. Once you know your boundaries, it is important to share them with others (remember that no one is a mindreader and might have different boundaries than you). Here are some tips on how to confidently and respectfully communicate your expectations:

  • Be assertive. Be firm and use clear, non-negotiable language. You can use “I statements” to make sure that you letting others know what you need and why instead of focussing on the actions of others (i.e. I feel overwhelmed after school/work and need time to myself before I can socialize vs. You need to give me space when I get home).

  • Use “No” as a complete sentence. You don’t always need to justify your decision. If someone asks you to cover a shift or to take on another project, say no without an excuse or explanation.

  • Protect your time. Remote learning and work have blurred a lot of boundaries, enforce them by designating work/study hours, setting cut-off times for responding to emails/texts or using the do not disturb features on your devices. You can share those times with others to help them be respected (e.g. let your supervisor know when they can expect to receive responses from you or let your roommates know when you are studying so they know not to interrupt).

  • Remember, you are not responsible for the other person’s reaction to the boundary you are setting. You are only responsible for communicating your boundary in a respectful manner. If it upset them, know it is their problem. Plan on it, expect it but remain firm. Remember, your behaviour must match the boundaries you are setting. You cannot successfully establish a clear boundary if you send mixed messages by apologizing. 

  • Get assistance or support. If setting boundaries was easy, we wouldn’t be sharing this article and some situations are more complicated than others. If you’re experiencing challenges with setting or asserting boundaries, or if someone is causing you difficulty by crossing them, never hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional- you can book an appointment with Student Health and Wellness counsellors or connect with 

Male student sitting on couch looking towards a female in the foreground

Stocking Your Pantry

The first grocery shop of the school year is a doozie-  making a plan ahead of time can help you take advantage of deals, ensure you have all the staples and avoid each roommate buying their own 10lb bag of rice. Check out this list below for some pantry essentials.

Grains/Starches
  • Long-grain white rice, one or two other grains (such as quinoa or farro)
  • dry pasta
  • rice/ramen/udon noodles
  • plain bread crumbs/panko
  • bread
  • wraps/pita/naan
  • breakfast cereals, oatmeal
Oils and Vinegars
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • neutral cooking oil (such as canola or grapeseed)
  • whatever vinegar you must often use- rice, balsamic, white, red wine, etc.
Cans and jars
  • Canned tuna
  • Tomatoes in all forms (diced, paste, sauce)
  • Soups and stocks
  • Canned Beans (white beans, black beans and-or chickpeas)
Spices and dried herbs
  • Kosher salt
  • red-pepper flakes
  • ground cayenne
  • curry powder
  • bay leaves
  • black pepper
  • sweet paprika
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground cumin
  • garlic powder
  • granulated garlic
  • dried thyme
  • dried oregano
  • ground coriander

If you are a somewhat experienced cook you'll know what spices you often use but this is a good starting point for beginners. Opting for packages over jars also saves money.

Condiments and sauces
  • Salad dressing
  • Mustard
  • Mayonnaise
  • Ketchup
  • Hot sauce
  • Salsa
  • Soy sauce
  • Fish sauce
Baking
  • All-purpose flour
  • Cornmeal
  • Rolled oats
  • Cornstarch
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Vanilla extract
  • Brown and white sugar
  • Chocolate: chips, baking, etc.
  • Raisins or another dried fruit
  • Cocoa powder

If you are not a baker you can skip this section but never underestimate the power of stress baking. 

Dairy
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Sour cream

If you follow a lactose-free or adhere to a vegan diet, look for affordable substitutes that contain protein.

Freezer
  • Frozen fruits and veggies
  • Frozen proteins
  • Frozen meals (e.g. lasagna, pizzas, samosas) These are never as good as the real deal but can do in a pinch
  • Ice cream/sorbet/gelato- this is an essential

Opting for frozen instead of fresh is often more affordable and lasts way longer, just be mindful of freezer space, especially if you are sharing with roommates.

The rest
  • Nuts and nut butters: Walnuts, almonds, roasted peanuts, peanut butter (smooth and crunchy). 
  • Sweeteners: Honey, maple syrup, granulated sugar.
  • Preserves and pickles: Fruit jams and preserves, anchovies.

 

 

This list is by no means exhaustive- you know your own likes and dietary restrictions- but it is a good place to start. You'll also need to consider your fresh produce and proteins and snacks. 

If you are new to the city, we have grocery maps!

For more information about eating healthy- visit the Health Eating page of our site!

 
jars of dried cook in a pantry

Signs You Might be Getting Too Much Sun

Three students sitting on a cliffside overlooking the water. 

The summer season is in full swing and with it comes the summer sun. Though the sun is great for giving us vitamin D sometimes too much sun can be harmful to us. Below is a list of common sun and heat related illnesses as well as their signs and symptoms.

Heat Cramps

The first stage of heat illness are heat cramps. These are muscle cramps that are brought on when you’ve spent too much time in heat. Often heat cramps are accompanied by:

heavy sweating

fatigue

thirst

muscle cramps

Heat Exhaustion

The second stage of heat illness is heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion does not require immediate medical attention but should be acted on immediately. Symptoms are the same as heat cramps but now also include:

Headaches

Dizziness and confusion

Pale clammy skin

Fast breathing/pulse

Temperature above 38C

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is the most dangerous of the heat illnesses. If you suspect someone has heat stroke seek medical attention immediately. The symptoms of heat stroke are the same as the previous stages but now including:

Altered behaviour (confusion, agitation, slurred speech, irritability, etc)

Skin feeling dry with little to no sweat being produced or extreme amounts of sweating

Nausea and vomiting

Flushed skin

chart showing the most common heat illness symptoms

6 Tips and Tricks so You Can Avoid Ticks

Shows a cartoon tick, a bullseye, some tall grass, a pair of socks, a hospital. It reads six tips and tricks so you can avoid ticks

1. Know What Ticks Carry Lyme Disease.

Even though Ontario is native to over 40 species of ticks only 2 carry lyme disease. Blacklegged ticks and Western blacklegged ticks. table outlining the various types and sizes of blacklegged ticks.

2. How to identify blacklegged and western blacklegged ticks.

Blacklegged and Western Blacklegged ticks typically are a dark red/brown colour when not feeding. They change to a light yellow/brown colour while in the middle of feeding. 

3. How to identify tick bites.

If the tick is still burrowed into the skin you will be able to see the bottom of the tick peeking out surrounded in a red area. A tick bite will also often appear in the shape of a bullseye with a small red circle surrounding the bite.

an example of tick bites bulsseye shape.

4. Where ticks are normally found.

Ticks love to reside in tall grass and fields. Always be weary after walking through these environments.

an image of tall grass

5. Where do ticks love to bite.

Ticks tend to bite the warmest areas of the body so when you leave tall grass be sure to check any areas that have frequent skin to skin contact like armpits, behind the knees. They also like to go beneath tight clothes so be sure to check in socks and underwear as well.

6. So you've been bitten by a tick, what next?

Have you been bitten by a tick and it is still burrowed within the skin. You can extract the tick by using fine point tweezers to gently grab the tick by the head. If the head has broken off you may use tweezers to extract the head and then use an alcohol based sanitizer to clean the bite. Once the tick is removed you should put it in a sealed bag and bring it to your local health unit.

8 Healthy Activities You Can Test Out This Summer

Two students wearing backpacks stand on a hill overlooking a lake.

8 Healthy Activities You Can Test Out This Summer.

8. Hiking

Hiking is an excellent form of exercise that is low intensity and great for your cardiovascular system. It can also help you reduce feelings of stress through the release of endorphins. Want to know more about hiking in your area? check out https://www.alltrails.com/ or download their app to see all kinds and difficulties of hiking trails in your area.

7. Canoeing/Kayaking

a group of people canoeing beside a rock face

Did you know that Canada has approximately 20% of the world's surface freshwater? Why not explore some of your local waterways on a sunny day! Canoeing and kayaking are great ways to relax while giving your body a great upper body workout. Curious about renting some equipment and trying it out? Here are some businesses that offer canoe and kayak rentals near Lakehead University.

Orillia:

https://www.abreathoffreshair.ca/

https://swiftoutside.com/georgian-bay/

Thunder Bay:

https://queticooutfitters.com/quetico-canoe-rentals/

https://www.wildernesssupply.ca/rent-canoes-kayaks-sup-s-more-in-winnipeg-thunder-bay

 6. Rock Climbing

An empty rock climbing gym

Just because the sun is now out doesn't meant it's here to stay. Rock climbing is an excellent way to get active in an indoor environment. Rock climbing is also an excellent way to work out everything from your heart to your legs and everything in between. Below are a couple of local rock climbing gyms near Lakehead University.

Orillia:

https://www.orillia.ca/en/living-here/rotary-place.aspx

Thunder Bay:

http://boulderbearclimbing.com/

 5. Softball

a softball sitting on an empty softball pitch

Are you looking to meet some new people? Or are you and some friends looking for a fun activity to do together? Why not join a local softball team? Softball is an excellent way to spend some time outside socializing with peers, making new friends, and stretching your legs. Check out these links for some information about local recreational softball leagues:

Orillia:

http://www.ospl.ca/forms/16696-Free-Agents

 Thunder Bay:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/battingforthecure/

4. Disc Golf

a disc golf post in a field

Looking for a low intensity activity to play by yourself or with friends? Disc golf is a great relaxing activity that can reduce stress while performing low impact exercise! check out some of these local courses in your area:

477 Cuyler St, Thunder Bay, ON P7A 1B5

 A map showing the location of the disc golf course in Thunder Bay

68 Woodside Dr, Orillia, ON L3V 3K9

A map showing the location of the disc golf course in Orillia

3. Bicycling

Lower half of someone biking down a path in a forest.

Bicycling is an excellent hobby for anyone of any age to get into. It also is an activity that can be made easier or more difficult depending on your level of experience and chosen path. Check out the AllTrails app or visit https://www.alltrails.com/ for trails, information, and difficulties.

2. Soccer

Lakehead University students playing soccer in the C.J Sanders Fieldhouse

Wanting to get out and meet some new people? Joining a local soccer league is an excellent way to meet tons of new people while getting some great aerobic exercise. Want to know more? see the links below for more information about soccer leagues in your area.

Orillia:

https://www.orillia.ca/en/living-here/sports-leagues.aspx

Thunder Bay:

https://interlucania.ca/

1. Concerts

A crowd of people sitting in front of the stage at a previous Live on the Waterfront event

Not every healthy activity has to involve physical movement. Many cities offer free public concerts throughout the summer which can help reduce stress and improve your sense of community.

Thunder Bay:

https://www.thunderbay.ca/en/recreation/live-on-the-waterfront.aspx

Orillia:

https://calendar.orillia.ca/Default/Index?__RequestVerificationToken=ieUSQED5h8-VC0EHkE9tW7HacHnkztZonLfd-aB9YmbHVARs6sCMFWPINbS0RtlmVZyOUn_iMDIm0AF7zFgYpQeX2HW4rexGV9mMi983HhY1&PrintView=list&StartDate=05/11/2022&EndDate=08/11/2022&Calendar=Events&Keywords=concert

A man and woman wearing backpacks stand on a hill overlooking a lake

World Suicide Prevention Day

September 10th marks World Suicide Prevention Day. Death by suicide is the second leading cause of death among Canadians aged 15-24 (Statistics Canada, 2017) and the most recent NCHA survey found that 16% of Canadian post-secondary students had seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months. 

This year, debunking the myths surrounding suicide and bring an increased awareness of signs and symptoms might be more important than ever. The pandemic has caused stress and disruption for everyone and according to a nationwide survey released by the CMHA and UBC, this has caused pronounced mental health concerns- including suicidal thoughts and feelings- especially among: parents, those living with mental illness or mental health issues, Indigenous people, those with a disability or individuals in the LGBTQ+ community. 

It is important to remember that individuals thinking about killing themselves do not want to die, they want to end their suffering. These individuals are feeling helpless and hopeless. It is also important to remember that suicide does not come out of nowhere, warning signs—verbally or behaviorally—precede most suicides. Therefore, it’s important to learn and understand the warnings signs associated with suicide.

The American Association of Suicidology has a mnemonic to remember warning signs frequently experienced or reported within the last few months before a suicide, or suicide attempt: IS PATH WARM? The specific warning signs are: 

I – Ideation. Expressed or communicated suicidal ideation threatening to hurt or kill themself or having thoughts of doing so

S – Substance Abuse. Increased alcohol or drug use

P – Purposelessness. No reason for living; no sense of purpose in life, start giving things away because there’s no purpose in keeping anything, no reason to maintain their hygiene

A – Anxiety. Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all the time, difficulty concentrating 

T – Trapped. Like there’s no way out and things will never get better

H – Hopelessness. No future orientation 

W – Withdrawal.  Isolating from friends, family and society.

A – Anger. Rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge, irritable 

R – Recklessness. Engaging in high-risk activities, seemingly without thinking, impulsive behavior

M – Mood Changes.  Dramatic mood changes, flat affect, depressed mood, acting out of character

Signs that someone is at more immediate risk of suicide might include:

  • Threatening to hurt or kill themselves, or talking of wanting to hurt or kill themself; and/or

  • Looking for ways to kill themself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means; and/or

  • Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide, when these actions are out of the ordinary.

If you think someone is thinking about suicide- ask them. There is a misconception that bringing up suicide can put the idea into someone’s head, but in reality, talking calmly about suicide, without showing fear or making judgments, can bring relief to someone who is feeling isolated. A willingness to listen shows sincere concern; encouraging someone to speak about their suicidal feelings can reduce the risk of an attempt. If you aren’t sure how to start a conversation with someone who appears to be struggling, check out Jack.org’s Be There golden rules. If they are not immediately at risk, you can encourage them to talk to a counsellor or someone they trust and continue to check in on them.

If you or someone else is in crisis you can:

  • Call 9-1-1.
    • For Thunder Bay Campus security, call 807-343-8911.
    • For Orillia Campus Security, call 705-330-4008 ext. 3912 

 

  • Call Crisis Response Services, a 24/7 crisis line staffed by Canadian Mental Health Association
    • Thunder Bay- 807-346-8282
    • Orillia- 705-728-5044

 

  • Not on either campus?
    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
    • Suicide Hotlines Across the World 
    • GOOD2TALK post-secondary crisis line- 1-866-925-5454
    • Crisis Text Line powered by Kids Help Phone- a free, confidential texting service, available 24/7/365. By texting GOOD2TALKON to 686868, post-secondary students in Ontario can be connected to a trained volunteer Crisis Responder who is there to listen and support students with any issue they’re facing.
    • Crisis Service Canada: www.crisisservicescanada.ca
    • First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line: 1-855-242-3310
    • Service is available in Cree, Ojibway, Inuktitut, English and French.
    • Trans Lifeline: 1-(877) 330-6366

To learn more about how talking about suicide can make a difference join the Canadian Association of Suicide Prevention webinar, it begins at 7 pm on Sept. 10 and can be found at https://suicideprevention.ca/event-3956222.

If you aren’t confident that you could support someone who is having suicidal thoughts and feelings- there is training available through Livingworks

 

Man comforting man another man with head in hands

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