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Mental Health

What is mental health?

The Canadian Mental Health Association describes mental health as:

“… striking a balance in all aspects of your life: social, physical, spiritual, economic and mental. Reaching a balance is a learning process… Your personal balance will be unique, and your challenge will be to stay mentally healthy by keeping that balance.”

At UPEI we encourage all students and faculty/staff to seek support if they have concerns about mental health.  We encourage the entire UPEI community to support others to seek help.

Should I get help?

Everyone’s situation is unique; there are no right or wrong reasons to seek help. People generally seek help for mental and emotional problems when:

  • The level of stress they are experiencing does not seem proportionate to the problem.
  • They notice a significant change in their mood or how they feel about themselves
  • They notice significant changes in their work, relationships, and other areas of life, despite attempts to resolve the situation.
  • They are experiencing an unusual amount of distress (negative feelings such as sadness, anger, irritability, fear, anxiety, helplessness, confusion, guilt, embarrassment, etc.) that does not subside after a few hours or days.
  • They are having difficulty attending classes or other commitments because of the way they are feeling.
  • They have increased usage, or start using drugs and/or alcohol.
  • They experience changes in sleep patterns, appetite, ability to concentrate, memory, and motivation level.
  • They are encouraged by others to seek help.

If you are thinking about harming yourself or attempting suicide; tell someone right away; call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. If you have a friend that is suicidal, do not leave them alone. Try to get them to seek help immediately or phone 911.  Take any comments about suicide or wishing to die, as serious. Even if you do not believe the person will actually attempt suicide, they are clearly in distress and can benefit from your help in receiving mental health treatment.

There are several supports both on and off campus for students, staff and faculty of UPEI.

  • UPEI Student Affairs offers several resources and supports, such as personal counselling, chaplaincy services, academic coaching, accessibility services, Aboriginal student support, and much more!
  • UPEI Counselling Services is staffed by professionally certified counsellors who provide short term interventions personal, developmental and mental health issues including (but not limited to) depression, anxiety, relationship concerns, family difficulties, identity issues, stress, and emotional trauma as well as crisis response.  When issues prove to need longer term care we can provide help with referral and can offer bridging services until a referral is complete.
  • UPEI Student Health Centre can provide referrals to a psychiatrist, if appropriate, and discuss different options and supports available. The nurse and physicians can provide helpful guidance on how to improve sleep patterns, reduce anxiety, make healthier nutrition choices, and more.
  • Canadian Mental Health Association of PEI has a directory of self-help and community resources.
  • HealthPEI offers Mental Health and Crisis Response Services.
  • UPEI Faculty and Staff Guide to Helping Students in Distress.


Helpful Resources for Students

Contact UPEI