The AC Hub hosts a variety of student events including the Mental Health 360 events. Photo credit: Tyler Beauchesne

Algonquin College is on a mission to make sure students prioritize keeping up with their mental health as well as their schoolwork.

On Sept. 22, the AC Hub hosted the first of its mental health events called Mental Health 360: Do Not Stress.

This event allowed students to relax and take a chance to de-stress from the workload they have faced throughout the semester. They could play board games, write encouraging words to others and make connections with their peers.

It can be easy for students to feel overwhelmed by the amount of assignments and readings heading their way. The coordinators of this event, Lauren Larocque and Samantha Therrien, hoped the event would show students that their mental health and wellness are just as important as their classwork.

“It is important for students to focus on their mental health at the beginning of the school year in order to set themselves up for a positive start to the semester and success throughout the year,” Larocque said.

“Events like Mental Health 360 are passive in the sense that students are encouraged to go at their own pace and join in where they’re comfortable. It is a great opportunity to make new connections and friends who will be there to support you throughout the year, whether that’s studying for exams, trying a new activity or lending an ear.”

Larocque went over some of the ways that students can de-stress on their own if they feel overwhelmed.

“Some methods we recommend to students on handling stress and not becoming overwhelmed is to simply pause,” Larocque explained. “Taking 15-30 seconds to close your eyes and taking a few deep breaths is a great way to refocus and shift energy.”

Larocque also states that there are other activities you can do on and outside of campus to better your mental health.

“There are also some fantastic opportunities and resources on campus like yoga classes, meditations and mood walks along with counselling services,” Larocque said.

“Sometimes those activities aren’t for everyone, so asking a friend to go for coffee, relaxing with a favorite show, or getting some physical activity in can be great outlets. It’s important to balance school and work with activities that are fun.”

If students are having issues with your mental health or feeling stressed or overwhelmed, they can contact Student Support Services for help and resources.