Mental Health Support

This is a guide to using NSCAD University resources, other Halifax university resources, and community supports to best manage and fulfill your own mental health needs.

If you have an urgent mental health issue and are in need of immediate care or assistance, please contact 911.

If you or someone you know is in crisis within Halifax Regional Municipality, you can also contact the Mobile Mental Health Crisis Team at 902-429-8167. This line provides support for people experiencing a mental health crisis. It offers telephone crisis support throughout the HRM, and mobile response to areas served by Halifax Regional Police. A mobile response will be a mental health clinician accompanied by a specially trained plain-clothes police officer in an unmarked vehicle.

Here is the link to NSCAD’s mental health resources.

https://navigator.nscad.ca/wordpress/wellness/

NSCAD Accessibilities Resource Coordinator

Bill Travis

If you are looking for a quick point of contact at NSCAD, please reach out to Bill Travis at the Office of Student Experience. His email is btravis@nscad.ca and he is the Disability Resource Coordinator at NSCAD. He can help direct you to resources. You can also call his office at 902.494.8313 during office hours on weekdays.

NSCAD Counsellor

Jennifer Abrahamson.

Jennifer supports individuals with a variety of presenting concerns including, but not limited to, depression, anxiety, relationship issues, body image difficulties, and school/work stress. If you have any questions about how Jennifer can support you or to book an appointment, you can email jabrahamson@nscad.ca or the Office of Student Experience at ose@nscad.ca

Peer Mentors

NSCAD’s Peer Support Program typically offers one-on-one peer support in the evenings from 5 to 7 pm in Room G227 (“the wellness space”) during the Fall and Winter semesters, but they will be offering some online alternatives during the COVID-19 campus closure. Peer Support is one of the most effective strategies for individuals living with mental illness who are trying to maintain their mental health in a stressful academic environment, and even for students without a diagnosis of mental illness who are encountering less than functional mental health due to the stresses of school, relationships, being away from home, etc…. The Peer Mentors have lived experience with mental illness and are current NSCAD students, putting them in an ideal place to serve as positive examples for students coping with Mental health problems or having difficulty adjusting to life at NSCAD

For more information about NSCAD’s Peer Support program or to be connected with one of our peer mentors,  contact peermentors@nscad.ca or visit their instagram page (https://www.instagram.com/p/CFHXrEHnEi-/?igshid=8vgwhnk0bc6v)

GreenShield Mental Health Services (Domestic Student Health Plan)

  1. Change 4 Life: Helps figure out healthy life choices
  2. Mindfulness Program: Six session training program through the Change 4 Life Portal
  3. Mind Beacon: Behavioral Therapy guide by an experienced, regulated mental health professional. Fully digital. Free access to a therapist for 12 weeks and to online Beacon resources for a full year – all for a one time cost.

For detailed information on how to use the Green Shield plan, click here Health Plan

What is mental illness?

Mental illness can refer to a wide variety of mental health concerns, which can affect the way you navigate and function in your everyday life as they impact your mood, thoughts and behaviour.

Mental illnesses include depression, anxiety, eating disorders, schizophrenia and addictive behaviours, and can be associated with sadness, anger, loss of motivation, or changes in your social and emotional patterns. There are many possible symptoms and diagnoses associated with mental illness, and they affect a huge portion of Canada’s population.

How can mental illness affect students at university?

The DSM-5 states that mental illnesses are “usually associated with significant distress in social, occupational, or other important activities.”

University is a stressful time for many students, as it generally involves a change in your routine and workload.

If other aspects of your lifestyle have been uprooted, like leaving your family, friends, and formal city, you are entering a new environment with new stressors! You may have more freedom, the stress of making new friends, a different level of academic stress, and new locations to navigate. All of these new things can be hard and overwhelming to navigate. Don’t worry, this is normal!

How do I know if I need help?

Most students (and humans, in general!) find it beneficial to seek mental health supports at some point. You don’t need to identify as mentally ill to see a counsellor for help!

As a general rule, it’s better to seek help sooner than later. Don’t worry if your concerns are not imminent or threatening; it’s usually more helpful to talk to someone while your stress is still at a moderate or manageable level.