University is one hell of a stressful time, and even though Western may have more of a "party school" rep, the anxiety is very much present. Don't believe me? Spend five minutes in the girls washroom in Weldon during exams and you'll see enough tears to convince you.

Thankfully, as the discussions about mental illness continue to grow, the resources available on and off campus do too.

Anxiety is good — to an extent. Without it, our bodies wouldn't be motivated to do our daily activities. But there is a difference between a little test anxiety verses crippling anxiety that is a constant interference in your day-to-day life. 

I'm hoping that with this list of resources you'll be able to help yourself, or a friend, to start a journey to mental wellness. You go to a doctor for physical pain, so why can't you go to a doctor for emotional pain?

On Campus:

1. Student Development Centre offers individual, crisis, and group counselling focusing around stress and anxiety. They are located in Student Services Building, room 4100. Give them a call at 519-661-3031 to see when you can get in to see someone.

2. Student Health Services provide students with counselling, as well as medication consultations. Psychiatrists, physician psychotherapists, and social workers are available to adequately meet the needs of each individual student. They are located in the lower level of the UCC. Urgent concern? Call 519-661-3030.

3. Living in residence? Counselling is available for anyone currently living on campus. Email to start this process.

4. If you are a student at King's College, counselling is available for you there. They offer services to help you cope with test anxiety, self-esteem concerns, adjusting to university, traumatic events, as well as a wide range of other concerns. You can find them in the Wemple Building, room 157, or call at 519-433-3491 ext. 4321.

Off Campus:

5. First Episode Mood and Anxiety Program (FEMAP) offers counselling for people age 16-25 with emotional concerns. They are conveniently located downtown on Richmond Street. Since they are extremely helpful (from personal experience), they are experiencing a longer wait time than usual for new patients so you might want to consider one of the other options if your situation is urgent. 

6. London Distress Centre offers telephone support and problem solving 24/7. If you're experiencing heightened anxiety and stress, call 519-667-6711 to speak to a trained volunteer. 

7. London-Middlesex Suicide Prevention Council offers help if you, or someone you know, is considering suicide and what to do. As well, they offer support for those who have lost loved ones due to suicide. 

8. Mindyourmind focuses on reducing the stigma around mental illness. If you aren't sure where to start on your recovery journey, check out their website. They offer information on how and where to get help for yourself or a friend. Their goal is to inspire youth to reach out, get help, and give help.

9. Connect For Mental Health is an organization run by, and for, individuals who are affected by mental health. They offer one-on-one peer support, weekly socials, recovery and student support groups. Want to help spread the knowledge about mental health? Get involved with them!

In a crisis?

10. Call 519-433-2023, London Crisis Response Line, which is open 24 hours a day.

If you decide to follow-up with any of the resources provided — or are still considering it, you are courageous and deserve to be the best version of yourself. From one mental health survivor to another, I know how difficult it is to ask for help. This isn't the end of your journey, but I hope you will be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel soon.

Stay healthy!