Mental health at SFU

Your time at SFU is important -- that's why we're here to provide support when you need it, where you need it.

Access counselling 24/7, explore our support options, or learn more about your well-being: all in one place.

Awareness

Awareness of ourselves and our surroundings allows for deeper connection and enhanced perspectives. Know and use your strengths and respect your limitations. Practice mindfulness, and exercise gratitude.

Take time to reflect on your morals, values, and beliefs and respect the beliefs and values of others:

  • Practice journalling or reflective activities to explore and learn your personal morals, values, and beliefs

  • Participate in activities that connect the mind and body, such as mindfulness or yoga

  • Practice compassion if you meet others whose values differ from your own

  • Be open to understanding people with different values and beliefs from yourself and take time to learn or ask questions in a respectful and open-minded way

     

Practice mindfulness:

Practicing mindfulness can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and improve relationships, memory, and concentration

  • Mindfulness is an awareness that arises from paying attention to the present moment and your physical and mental experience in that moment, without judgement

  • Look for opportunities to practice mindfulness throughout the day for example, by making eating, walking, or other daily activities mindful activities by focusing your mind fully on experiencing the activity while you do it

  • Take 5 deep breaths in and out, and try to keep your mind focused on the feeling of your breath as it moves in and out

  • Take 5 minutes to imagine or remember a place where you feel happy, calm, and at peace. When you find yourself feeling stressed, take 2 minutes to imagine yourself there. Draw or write out what this looks like using this template

  • Use this guide to blend creativity and productivity to start your own bullet journal

  • Take some time for creativity and explore one of these colouring pages or origami pages that you can mindfully do at the comfort of your own space

Use your strengths to help you function at your best:

Strengths are positive traits that are shown through one’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.

  • Go online and complete a strengths survey, such as the VIA Character Strengths tool, to learn more about your best attributes and how to maximize them

  • Take a moment to think about one of your personal strengths—for instance, creativity, perseverance, or kindness, and consider how you could use this strength in a new way

  • Each night for a week, reflect on how you used your key strengths throughout the day

  • Be aware of overusing your strengths (i.e. too much curiosity may result in nosiness, too much humility may result in self-deprecation)

Practice gratitude by noticing, appreciating, and being thankful for the things of value in your life: 

Gratitude has one of the strongest links to positive mental health and satisfaction with life of any personality trait.

  • Write down a few things you can see, smell, taste, touch and hear using a Bliss List

  • Before you go to sleep, write down three things you’re grateful for from your day (these don’t need to be big things; they can be as simple as being grateful for a warm cup of coffee)

  • Try “Thankful Thursdays” - a weekly gratitude practice with friends or colleagues that encourage you each to share what you are thankful for on a regular basis
  • Create a gratitude jar. Write one thing you are grateful for on a piece of paper everyday and place it in the jar. You can look back at it whenever you need to

 

 

SFU Resources

Below find some on campus resources that are related to your spiritual wellness. For a full listing of resources related to all aspects of your health and wellness see sfu.ca/students/health/resources.html.

 

Health & Counselling Services (HCS): HCS offers  free, guided mindfulness meditation sessions and audio recordings to connect with your body and unwind  

Indigenous Student Centre: The Indigenous Student Centre offers information and referrals, and works with both on and off campus groups to provide access to community resources, band liaison, and funding for Aboriginal students.

Multifaith Centre: The Multifaith Centre offers pastoral care and support, and opportunities for appropriate forms of regular worship, reflection, prayer, fellowship and outreach for all members of the University community.

Personal Development: Reflect on and gain awareness of your own beliefs and values by participating in courses and opportunities to build your leadership skills.

SFSS Spiritual or Religious Student Clubs: Consider joining a registered Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) faith-based or spiritual club to meet peers and a community with similar values.

SFU Recreation - Stretch + Meditate Exercises: Take a short break from your day to give your body and mind some well-deserved attention with these short guided videos.

SFU Volunteer Services: SFU Volunteer Services offers resources and information relating to on campus and off campus volunteer and community involvement opportunities, events and workshops. Find out more about how you can get engaged in your community!

 

Additional Resources

Below find some off campus resources that are related to your spiritual wellness. 

 

Meditation Tips by Jon Kabat-Zinn: As one of the leaders in mindfulness meditation, Jon speaks about how we can cultivate mindfulness to overcome and address each attitude with more awareness and wisdom.

The Nap Ministry Blog: Founded in 2016 by Tricia Hersey, she examines rest as a radical tool for community healing.

Planning your Journey to Wellness - A Road Map: The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) developed this self-guided resource that provides reflection questions for emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical health.

 Wellness Apps

  • Calm (iTunes / GooglePlay) - Meditation practices and sleep stories written and recorded by various individuals to help with sleep, meditation, and relaxation.
  • Liberate Meditation App - Explore meditations and talks designed for the BIPOC experience.
  • MyLife - Recommends mindfulness activities to help deal with stress, anxiety, and sleeplessness.

 

Faculty and staff

Are you looking to promote awareness in your classroom or workplace? Everyone at SFU can help create a healthy campus community. Learn how you can support awareness as a teacher or administrator below.