Depression Support Group: Not Alone in Your Battle

Please note: this post was written by a UOIT student who wished to be anonymous

I have been asked to share my experiences with mental health illness. I feel a little funny about doing that as a lot of the time I don’t feel like I have any issues pertaining to my mental health. It is only when it is pointed out to me that the way I am feeling or thinking is not common (whereas I usually assume that this is how everyone feels and I am no different) that I see how unhealthy it can be.

While I have been diagnosed with more than one mental health disorder, I find that most of the time I am only ‘hit’ one at a time by them, with one being at the forefront and causing all the problems at once. That generally makes it easier to deal with. But then once I find a way to cope with (temporarily or otherwise) one, the other jumps to the front eager to take centre stage and bask in the spotlight. So it becomes an endless circle of dealing with one illness only to have the other jump in and take the empty spot in my brain. In highly stressful situations/times (like exams) I am not even given that – all go to the front smooshing together at the forefront demanding to be heard and have attention paid to them. I am still uncertain how I manage to get over these episodes/incidents but I know that a huge part of it is my support network – whether they be friends or the people here at school like the SAS advisors or mental health counsellors. All have been an immense help to me. Even just venting my frustrations & problems to them has been helpful. Just someone to listen without judging and sometimes offer methods of coping. It matters in the end.

This leads to me to one major help that mental health services had last semester which was the depression support group. It met ‘after hours’ in the U5 portable which allowed for a more private space to talk in. It opened in the same general way each time – saying your name and answering some question to help break the ice, followed by a mindfullness exercise. Then depending on how the group felt we would have guided topics if no one felt they had anything to say. I found that after the first few meetings the group as a whole learned to take more control over the direction of how the group was run and we were left to it, with helpful nudges if we became stuck. It was not always serious (a memorable conversation about milk preferences comes to mind) and there was smiles and laughter with everyone seeming to feel comfortable in the shared experiences with depression. Coping strategies from different perspectives were offered to see if we could help each other out. One thing that really struck me was the way the others in the group could finish your sentence for you or express the mess that is going on in your head in better way. You could they knew what you were going through and that they were going through it. Just that common bond between us made us closer as a group and easier to share. All in all, just the sharing of different ways depression has affected others, how they deal with it, and the knowledge that you aren’t alone in your battle.

I hope that people will see this and come to next depression support group which I believe is running in the fall semester.

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16 thoughts on “Depression Support Group: Not Alone in Your Battle

  1. Hello,

    Thank you for your inquiry. The Depression Support Group always had at least one counsellor attend/run the group. But as mentioned in the blog, sometimes the students who participated in the group were the true leaders as they would find a certain topic they would like to discuss further. I hope this helps and please don’t hesitate to contact me at studentlifeline@uoit.ca for more information.

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    • When the last group ended they (counsellors/student mental health services) said they hoped to run one in the fall semester if there was enough interest. They were thinking of having it start in Oct to give people a chance to “find their bearings” and settle in.

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  2. Hello @1992, Student Mental Health Services Depression Support group is for UOIT students only. However, Durham College students are encouraged to reach out to the Campus Health Centre at (905) 721-3037.

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      • Hello @1992,

        I believe they have similar support at the Campus Health Centre for DC students. You can contact them to ask about personal counselling and support groups. The number at the Campus Health Centre is (905) 721-3037. I hope this helps. Here is another number for Good2Talk, which is a post secondary student helpline at 1.866.925.5454.

        Thank you and good luck! Please feel free to keep reading the blog and commenting.

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      • @1992. DC offers counselling through aspiria, an outsourcing company. You need to call them yourself and make an appointment close to where it is convenient for you. I think you can get up to 3 free meetings with a counsellor. There is no personal counselling on campus for DC students, just coaching of some sort. I don’t think aspiria runs support group. We should have access to uoit groups. They come to our gym.

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  3. If you live in residences, there is some help available to dc students, but I don’t think that there is any counselling for DC at the campus. I used to talk to Dan, but he is not there anymore. I attended a depression support group in Pboro while @ Flemming. It was helpful. I wish we had some at DC

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    • @LeoMessiRules, you are right DC does not provide any personal counselling to their students on campus or any other locations. Like @ PINTO said, you need to call ASPIRIA and arrange counselling yourself but ASPIRA has no office at the campus. it blows. Ive been trying to get help for a while.

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      • I am not sure why do you continue to so stubbornly insist that mental health supports are available to DC students when we over and over tell you that they are not. THERE IS NO INDIVIDUAL MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELLING AVAILABLE TO DC STUDENTS. I called many times. I need help and have been asking for it for a while

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        • I personally inquired if there was counseling available to Durham College students, and was told that students can call the Health Centre at 905.721.3037 and book an appointment with one of the counselors. From what I’ve researched, the counseling offered to students is limited. But, students are referred to other services in the area if they require future counseling.

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  4. @robynhenry, thanks for checking. However, ill repeat: there is NO personal counselling for DC students. Coaching only. whatever it means, but its NOT counselling

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