Post-secondary life can be overwhelming, but students are often unaware of how to access help when they have mental health problems. Sometimes, they’re unable to get professional services in a timely way due to long wait lists or restrictions on the number of counseling sessions available to them. Professional services, however, are really only one element of care. Self-management and support by peers — those who have experienced similar issues — are important ingredients that support recovery and help maintain wellness.
One student at McMaster University is championing the rights of other students facing these issues. In 2012, Alise deBie launched the Hamilton Mad Students Collective to encourage students to develop friendships, share experiences, support one another, and be a part of a tradition of advocacy. This year she’s offering more structured support by facilitating Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) self-help groups on campus.
You can read more about her initiative in the latest Evidence in Action on the EENet website. Evidence in Action profiles knowledge generation, exchange, and implementation activities across Ontario.