Photo Credit: Mackenzie Gerry.

Brock offers a variety of mental health supports for students throughout the school year.

The Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre (SWAC) supports Brock students through three avenues: Student Accessibility Services, personal counselling and Student Health Services. Each pillar connects students to appropriate resources and encourages them to seek help if they need it. 

“We are still offering all the services we have offered in the past in a virtual setting,” said Julie Fennel, Health Promotion Educator at SWAC.

Fennel assures students and families that incoming Badgers will have full access to whatever kind of mental health support they may need in the upcoming year.

In lieu of face-to-face meetings, students can email [email protected] to arrange urgent same day appointments through Microsoft Teams, or call 1-833-276-2533 to schedule a telephone appointment. Same day, drop-in personal counselling is offered Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Student Health Services also offers mental health support by connecting Badgers to doctors, mental health nurses and psychiatrists at [email protected]

SWAC has a variety of online workshops to give students the tools they need to help combat stressful situations and navigate new challenges. SWAC’s ExperienceBU page is where students can find upcoming workshops and series. 

“There are lots of workshops being put online through SWAC right now. We are doing mindfulness workshops, stress workshops and study skills workshops. Be in tune to the upstream things that will keep you prepared for times when you may be struggling. These can help students stay grounded, feel connected and help with stress,” said Fennel.

The HUB is another important component of SWAC’s mental health support system. The HUB connects students with Peer Health Educators for real-time online conversations about health and wellness. Student-to-student conversations can help create a more relatable environment for those seeking help. It is even more important this year, as students are working and studying remotely. Connectivity among peers, friends and family, is integral to mental health and wellness.

“It is easy to feel isolated and lonely and so many people feel that way when they have to stay in their houses and rooms. [Connecting virtually] is a way of social connecting to make you feel like you are part of something, that you matter and that you are not alone,” said Fennel.  

Due to the wide variety of programs that SWAC facilitates, there is plenty of flexibility to ensure students get the help and resources that they need. Once students connect with SWAC, the staff will help them find the necessary services for their individual needs.

“We are all in this together. We are all trying to figure this school year out together and we want to see everyone succeed. If you feel like you are slipping it is important to reach out to an academic advisor, a professor, a staff member at SWAC, someone in Student Life or a staff member at A-Z Learning Services. Everybody is willing and ready to help in any way,” said Fennel.

SWAC is only one resource among a variety of support systems set up on campus to make sure Badgers get the help they need.

The Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU) is scheduling many events to help foster a sense of community among incoming Badgers. Now, more so than ever, it is important we take the time to connect with one another.

Aside from building community among Badgers, BUSU also helps students get professional help. Every student under the BUSU Health and Dental Plan gets 100 per cent coverage, up to $800 combined per benefit year, on psychologist, psychotherapist, social worker and clinical counsellor visits. Claims can be made on the BUSU StudentVIP page. 

Another avenue to seek help at Brock and to build a sense of community is the BrockU 4U (BU4U) program. BU4U is a series of online orientation experiences that will provide you with support from your transition to Brock in the summer and throughout your first year. BU4U is offering a multitude of resources for incoming Badgers. The program aims to build meaningful connections between Badgers, offer personalized support and prepare students for academic success. The BU4U website is packed with information regarding academics, financial planning, getting involved, wellness and accessibility and life at Brock. 

Another resource for mental health support on campus is Direct2U Doctors. Direct2U Doctors gives students access to private and confidential virtual medical consultations. This program also offers next day delivery for prescriptions so that students can get the medications they need in a timely manner. More information on Direct2U Doctors can be accessed through the BUSU StudentVIP website.

There are plenty of supports at Brock that are flexible and intended to meet your individual needs. In addition to seeking help through SWAC, BU4U, or Direct2U Doctors, Fennel encourages incoming students to create a regular schedule and build support systems through friends and family to work in conjunction with the supports offered on campus. These measures will help incoming Badgers work through the stresses they may face in first-year in a healthy way.

The Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre ExperienceBU page can be found at https://experiencebu.brocku.ca/organization/SWAC. The SWAC homepage can be found at https://brocku.ca/health-wellness-accessibility/. More information on BU4U is available here: https://brocku.ca/bu4u/ and be sure to check your Brock email for updates over the summer. Direct2U Doctors support and details on insurance claims can be found here: https://www.studentvip.ca