Brock highlights mental health supports on campus

As exam season gets underway and stresses run high, Brock University is reminding students there are supports available on campus to lend a helping hand.

Mental health and wellness are imperative to academic success and Brock has committed to ensuring the supports students need to thrive are readily available, said Sarah Pennisi, Director of Brock’s Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre (SWAC).

The centre is a one-stop destination for students seeking health, wellness and accommodation support.

In a typical day, students go to SWAC to access personal counselling services, academic accommodations and medical services.

“The demand for mental health support has increased exponentially not only here at Brock but also at other post-secondary institutions,” Pennisi said.

That rise signals that people are becoming more aware of available resources, but does not lessen the importance of continuing to advertise supports accessible on campus.

For anyone experiencing a difficult time, Pennisi said the first and most important step is reaching out to someone who can help.

“We recognize we need to be out there and visible so that it’s easier for students,” she said. “We want to ensure people are not struggling to figure out which pathway to support is appropriate. We want them to be able to hook into service in an easy way.”

Once students connect with health services, personal counselling or accessibility services — all available through SWAC — they’ve reached the front door that will direct them to the appropriate supports, she said.

“Any door is the right door for students to come in and be supported through those formal services.”

Pennisi also drew attention to resources available online through, as well as the Integrated Mental Health and Wellness mobile app, known as I.M. Well, launched by the Brock University Students’ Union last fall.

Brock is in the process of updating its mental health strategy.

The goal, Pennisi said, is to develop a strategy that strengthens collaboration with various community partners to provide the best care plan for students, ensures services are driven by student experience, and addresses existing gaps by enhancing programs and services.

Consultation with the Brock community will be a key component of the strategy’s development. Opportunities for feedback will be announced in the coming months.

Who to call on campus in a crisis situation

  •   Student Health Services, Harrison Hall: Physicians and Mental Health Nurse, 905-688-5550, ext. 3243
  •   Personal Counselling, Schmon Tower, 400: Counsellors, 905-688-5550, ext. 3240
  •   Campus Security, Kenmore Centre: Available 24 hours a day, 905-688-5550, ext. 3200

Who to call off campus in a crisis situation

Crisis Outreach and Support Team Niagara: 1-800-263-4944

Local Distress Centres

  •   Catharines and area 905-688-3711
  •   Grimsby 905-563-6674
  •   Port Colborne 905-734-1212
  •   Fort Erie 905-382-0689

Niagara Health System Hospital Crisis Care

  •   Catharines 905-378-4647 ext. 43230 or ext. 43231
  •   Welland ext. 33407
  •   Greater Niagara ext. 54919

Kids Help Line: 20 and under, 800-668-6868

Good2Talk: Ontario post-secondary help line, 866-925-5454

Call 911

Upcoming mental wellness events:

April 3:

  • Puppy room with St. John Ambulance dogs at Kenmore Centre from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

April 5:

  •   Mindfulness session, focused on mindfulness and stress-relieving strategies, James A. Gibson Library from noon to 12:30 p.m.
  •   Puppy room, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Pond Inlet
  •   Free fruit throughout the day at the General Brock store
  •   Thirty-minute paddleboarding sessions at Brock’s pool from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants must sign up in advance at the Walker Complex Welcome Desk.
  •   Art therapy in Isaac’s Bar and Grill from 2 to 5 p.m.

April 6:

  •   StressBusters workshop in the common room of Lowenberger Residence, time yet to be announced.

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