This article gives a different side of the crisis in Somalia by addressing the tragic injustices faced by Somalians with mental health disorders. Sadly, the stigmatization and misunderstanding described is echoed in Canada’s treatment of those with mental health issues – perhaps in different ways, but still just as damaging. In Canada, 1 in 4 people between the ages of 15 and 24 will experience a mental health problem, the most common being depression and anxiety. Queen’s does offer many resources for those who need help, but it’s not perfect. We, the students, must educate ourselves in order to support each other when needed. It needs to become okay for a friend to tell you that they’re going to see a counsellor, just as they’d tell you if they were going to see a doctor because of the flu. It needs to become okay to ask a friend how they are doing, and be comfortable with a real answer. Educate yourself, discuss mental health with your friends, and be alert for signs. Make a conscious choice not to participate in the stigma, and act on that choice.
I’ve listed some resources below; please take a moment to glance over them and see what is out there, whether it is you or a friend who might need them:
- Queen’s Health, Counselling and Disability Services’ Guide for Students: How you can identify and help students in distress
- Mental Health at Queen’s
- Queen’s Health Counselling and Disability Services Website
- Resources at Queen’s for Students in Distress
- Queen’s Peer Mentor Program – all-year-round support from an experienced upper-year student
- Email the Equity Office at firstname.lastname@example.org -I’m more than happy to listen and help you out in whatever way works for you