Self-Care Resources

At the Peer Help Centre, we acknowledge the importance of self-care and positive mental health for students and would like to offer as many resources to students as possible. Included in this section is information and resources pertaining to popular mental health issues that students may face. Please do not hesitate to come by the centre or call the Peer Support Phone Line if you do not find what you are looking for or would like to have someone listen and support you in a time of need.


Where to Get Help

On-Campus

University of Ottawa Health Services – 613-564-3950
Centre for Psychological Services – 613-562-5289

SASS Counseling & Coaching Service – 613-562-5200

Off-Campus

Hopewell Support Centre of Ottawa                             (613) 241-3428
Ottawa Hospital – Eating Disorders/General Campus     (613) 737-8042
Blossom Counseling and Consultation                          (613) 290-5929
Ottawa Eating Disorder Clinic                                      (613) 729-0801

Anorexia

Anorexia Nervosa, commonly known as Anorexia, is an eating disorder characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss. People suffering from anorexia tend to have a distorted body image and a preoccupation with weight and food.

 

Bulimia

Bulimia Nervosa, commonly known as Bulimia, is a type of eating disorder. Bulimia is characterized by episodes of binge eating and purging. A person with bulimia eats a lot of food in a short amount of time (binging) and then tries to prevent weight gain by getting rid of the food (purging). A person my purge through self induced vomiting, or by taking laxatives or diuretics.

Physical changes including salt and fluid imbalance, menstrual problems, hair loss, chronic sore throat, swollen parotid glands (the saliva glands below the ears) or severe tooth decay. 

Where to Get Help

On-Campus

University of Ottawa Health Services – 613-564-3950
Centre for Psychological Services – 613-562-5289

SASS Counseling & Coaching Service – 613-562-5200

Off-Campus

Canadian Mental Health Association    (613) 737-7791
Distress Centre (Ottawa & Region)      (613) 238-3311 (confidential, 24-hour crisis line)
Crisis Line                                            (613) 722-6914 (confidential, 24-hour crisis line)

 

Depression is a type of mood disorder. It is a medical condition characterized by feelings of intense sadness and hopelessness, associated with additional physical and mental changes. Different types of depression include clinical depression, Dysthymia, Bipolar Disorder, and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Causes

There is no single cause of depression.  Very often, a combination of genetic, psychological and environmental factors is involved in the onset of depression. At times, depressive episodes can appear to come out of nowhere. Some common causes are:

  • Stress (e.g. Greater academic demands, financial responsibilities, changes in social life etc)
  • Loss or extreme trauma
  • Physiological problems plus learned beliefs and behavior
  • Family History

 

Where to Get Help

On-Campus

University of Ottawa Health Services – 613-564-3950
Centre for Psychological Services – 613-562-5289

SASS Counseling & Coaching Service – 613-562-5200

Off-Campus

Anxiety Disorders Association of Ontario        (613) 729-6761

Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre    (613) 722-6521

Ottawa Anxiety and Trauma Clinic      613-737-1194

 

Anxiety is a normal reaction that everyone will experience; however, anxiety disorders (which encompass many different disorders) are diagnosed when various anxiety symptoms begin to cause significant distress and when daily living becomes functionally impaired to some degree. Anxiety disorders also often occur concurrently with other mental health issues, such as depression and/or substance abuse.

 

There are 7 main anxiety disorders in youth/adults, each with different symptoms and treatment options. They are as follows:

  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Panic disorder (with or without agoraphobia)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Specific phobia
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Separation anxiety (generally in children and youth)

General symptoms include behavioural avoidance, excessive worry, and physiological signs of anxious arousal. Treatment generally consists of cognitive behavioural therapy and possibly medication.

Where to Get Help

On-Campus

Centre for Psychological Services – 613-562-5289

SASS Counseling & Coaching Service – 613-562-5200
Women’s Resource Centre (For Female victims of abuse)        613-562-5800 ext. 5755

Off-Campus

National Domestic Violence Hotline                          1-800-363-9010.
Violence against women 24-hour helpline        English 613-745-4818, French 613-745-3665
Chrysalis House                                                             613-591-5901
Men’s Project of Ottawa                                              613-230-6179

Sexual Assault and Partner Abuse Care Program  (613)761-4366

Also known as domestic abuse, this occurs between spouses or intimate partners. Partner abuse occurs when one person in a marital or intimate relationship tries to control the other person. Partner abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of their size or gender. The perpetrator uses fear and intimidation to exert control over their partner, and may use mental and emotional abuse, and may use or threaten to use physical violence.

 

Where to Get Help:

On-Campus

Sexual Harassment Office            613-562-5222

Women’s Resource Centre       613-562-5800 ext. 5755

University of Ottawa Health Services – 613-564-3950
SASS Counseling & Coaching Service – 613-562-5200

Rape Aggression Defense  613-562-5800 ext 6654

Off-Campus

Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre           613-562-2333

Sexual Assault Support Centre  613-243-2266 (Crisis)  613-725-2160 (Counseling)

Sexual Assault and Partner Abuse Care Program (613)761-4366

Centre for Treatment of Sexual Abuse & Childhood Trauma        613-233-4929

Men’s Project of Ottawa                                  613-230-6179

 

Sexual violence includes a wide range of unwanted behaviors of a sexual nature.  It can be verbal, visual or anything that forces a person to join in unwanted sexual contact or attention.  Examples are:

  • sexual harassment
  • exhibitionism
  • voyeurism
  • sexual assault
  • date rape
  • criminal harassment (stalking)
  • cyber harassment

Sexual harassment is prohibited by the Ontario Human Rights Code and sexual assault, stalking, exhibitionism, voyeurism, date rape, cyber harassment are prohibited by the Criminal Code of Canada.

Sexual violence is about an abuse of power and using sex to achieve dominance over another person.

Where to Get Help

On Campus

University of Ottawa Health Services – 613-564-3950
Centre for Psychological Services – 613-562-5289

SASS Counseling & Coaching Service – 613-562-5200

Off Campus

Canadian Mental Health Association                (613) 737-7791
Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre                (613) 722-6521
Crisis Line                                                        (613) 722-6914 (confidential, 24-hour crisis line)

 

Self-injury (SI), also known as self-harm or self-mutilation is defined as deliberate injury to one’s own body. It usually leaves a mark or causes tissue damage. This injury may be aimed at relieving otherwise unbearable emotions, sensations of unreality and numbness, or for other reasons. Self injury is not always done with suicidal intentions.

 

Types of Self Injury

Some of the most common methods of self-harm include:

  • cutting or severely scratching your skin
  • burning or scalding yourself
  • hitting yourself or banging your head against things
  • hair pulling
  • re-opening wounds, intentionally preventing wounds from healing

 

Warning Signs

If you’re worried that someone you know may be engaging in self-injury, there are some warning signs that you can look for:

  • Unexplained wounds or scars, usually on the wrists, arms, thighs, or chest.
  • Blood stains on clothing, towels, or bedding; blood-soaked tissues.
  • Sharp objects or cutting instruments in their belongings that seem out of place, such as razors, knives, needles, glass shards, or bottle caps.
  • Claims that they have frequent accidents or are clumsy to explain injuries
  • Wearing long sleeves and pants or covering their body even in warm weather
  • Needing to be alone for long periods of time, especially in the bedroom or bathroom.
  • Isolation and irritability
  • Difficulty handling their feelings

Relationship problems or poor functioning at work, home or in school

Where to Get Help

On-Campus

SASS Counseling & Coaching Service – 613-562-5200

Off-Campus

Alcoholics Anonymous                                    613-237-6000
Drug and Alcohol Helpline                   1-800-565-8603
Amethyst Women’s Addiction Centre 613-563-0363

 

Substance abuse refers to the harmful use or improper use of an addictive substance, including alcohol and both legal and illegal drugs. Most commonly, substance abuse refers to excessive use of alcohol or illegal drugs, but it also includes the misuse of legal or prescribed drugs (using them for a purpose other than the one they were intended for, or using them in greater quantities) and the misuse of steroids. Substance abusers can become dependent on the substance they consume, because they can become addicted to using the substance and develop difficulty in controlling its use.

 

Signs of Substance Abuse

If you are concerned that you or someone you know is engaging in substance abuse, there are some questions that you can ask which may indicate substance abuse:

  • Is the person losing time from school and work due to substance use?
  • Is the substance use creating problems at home or at school?
  • Does the person show any remorse after the substance use?
  • Are there any financial difficulties as a result of the substance use?
  • Does the person use the substance to escape other problems?
  • Has the person’s motivation and ambition changed?
  • Does the person experience withdrawal symptoms if they attempt to stop using the substance?

Where to Get Help

If you or someone you love is feeling suicidal, the most important thing to do is to let someone else in. There is no reason to feel ashamed for having suicidal thoughts, and by telling someone what you are going through, you will find that you are not alone.

On-Campus

University of Ottawa Health Services – 613-564-3950
Centre for Psychological Services – 613-562-5289

SASS Counseling & Coaching Service – 613-562-5200

Off-Campus

Canadian Mental Health Association    (613) 737-7791

Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre    (613) 722-6521
Distress Centre (Ottawa & Region)      (613) 238-3311 (confidential, 24-hour crisis line)
Crisis Line                                            (613) 722-6914 (confidential, 24-hour crisis line)

 

Suicide is the act of willfully ending one’s own life.  People who have suicidal thoughts can see suicide as the only answer to a problem or problems that they are facing and that seem impossible to overcome. Suicide is seen as their ‘way out’ of an impossibly difficult situation, or as a way to end their emotional pain or feelings of depression. Suicide is the culmination of a complex set of thoughts and behavior. It is often a result of depression, a loss of self-esteem or an inability to visualize a better future.

 

 

Warning Signs

There are often signs that someone may be thinking about or planning a suicide attempt. Here are some of them:

  • talking about suicide or death in general
  • talking about “going away”
  • referring to things they “won’t be needing,” and giving away possessions
  • talking about feeling hopeless or feeling guilty
  • pulling away from friends or family and losing the desire to go out
  • having no desire to take part in favorite things or activities
  • having trouble concentrating or thinking clearly
  • experiencing changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • engaging in self-destructive behavior (drinking alcohol, taking drugs, or cutting, for example)