Mental Health

Definition

Mental Health disabilities involve psychological disturbances in thinking, emotions, and behaviour. These disorders result from complex interactions between hereditary, physical, and social influences. Disorders become disabilities when they seriously interfere with a person’s ability to work, socialize, or learn.

Most common type of diagnoses

Many students are stabilized on medications that diminish the symptoms of mental illness. Sometimes students go off their medication regimes when they are feeling balanced. However, they often find that the stresses of college life reactivate the symptoms and necessitate returning to pharmaceutical interventions. Some medications take several weeks to reach their maximum effectiveness so students may need extra monitoring and support during this time.

Some students experience significant side-effects from their medications. Difficulties with concentration, sleep, tremors, memory, and blurred vision may be issues facing students using prescribed medications. It is best if students with mental health issues are getting regular monitoring from their Physicians, Psychiatrist, or Mental Health Counsellor.

Suggested instructional strategies and accommodations

Attending post secondary education can be overwhelming for students struggling with mental health issues. Instructors who are approachable and strive to create learning environments that welcome individual differences, can be instrumental in students having a positive experience. Needs will depend on the diagnosis and how severely is affects the student, but the following suggestions may be helpful for many students with mental health disabilities.