DC hosts Mind your Body Day at Oshawa campus

Both the South Wing Hallway and Recognition Square inside the Gordon Willey building at the Oshawa campus were a buzz with positive energy today when the college and Durham Mental Health Services (DMHS) teamed up to host Mind Your Body Day on campus.

According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, one in five people will suffer from some form of mental illness at some point in their lives, with suicide being the second leading cause of death in the 15 to 24 age group. In addition, a 2011 survey by the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services indicated that the three factors affecting student academic performance most were stress (38 per cent), anxiety (26 per cent) and sleep difficulties (26 per cent).

To help educate students about mental health issues and promote the many free health services available to them, several local organizations were on hand for the event to offer displays and answer questions including Aspiria Corporation, Canadian Mental Health Association Durham (CMHA Durham), Distress Centre Durham, Durham Rape Crisis Centre, Family Services Durham, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, Ontario Disability Support Program, Oshawa Psychological and Counselling Services and Pinewood Centre (Addiction Support) of Lakeridge Health Oshawa.

“Awareness of the issues affecting a person’s mental and physical health along with the de-stigmatization of mental health is a priority for Durham College and our Health Centre,” said Kathy Lazenby, director, Campus Health Services, Durham College. “Our goal is to support the needs of our students by partnering with community agencies to ensure accessible services both on and off of campus thereby contributing to our students’ ability to have successful lives.”

In addition, speakers from CMHA Durham, Aspiria Corporation, Can-Fit, DMHS and Pinewood Centre gave 30-minute presentations on topics relevant to students including effective time management, problem drinking/drug use and dealing with stress and anxiety.

“The general public is learning what mental health service providers have long known,” said Rob Adams, executive director, DMHS. “There is increasing recognition that mental health problems are normal, common and treatable and that there is no shame in seeking support. This partnership with Durham College helps us reach a population that may experience mental health issues but not know where to turn for help.”

Further information on the various mental health supports available to students is available at the Health Centre