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Student Wellness

Sadness & depression

Sad, overwhelmed, or depressed — which one is it? 

There are many emotions that sit between the spectrum of sadness and depression. It is natural to have short-term feelings of sadness, grief, and isolation when difficult life experiences happen.

Student life can become overwhelming. We can often dismiss those internal warning signs, like emotions, that help identify when things are not quite right. Being aware of our emotions can help move us towards acceptance, build resiliency, and prepare for future life experiences.

76% of university students
felt very sad in the last year.

52% felt so depressed in the year that it was difficult to function.

70% felt very lonely
in the last year.


How can I improve my mental health?


Check in with your thoughts

As a student, it is normal to experience difficult situations like a bad grade and break-up, causing a negative way of perceiving and thinking of self, others, and the world. Examining our thoughts by writing them, investigating their truth and adjusting them to match your reality can increase confidence. 


Check in with your body

Our bodies respond to negative mental health including feeling tired, sore, irritability and irregular appetite. Physical movement can help to decrease symptoms in the body by increasing feel-good chemicals within the brain. Accessible ways to increase movement can include stretching, walks, breathing exercise, weightlifting or group exercise classes. Any movement can be good movement! 


Check in with your mood

Mental health is made up of our feelings, emotions, moods, and attitudes. Relaxation and mindfulness exercises like deep breathing, reading a book, exercising, and listening to music can help regulate negative moods or emotions.  


Check in with your relationships

Often negative mental health can force us to shift away from friends and family or not wanting to engage with others. Social connection like talking to friend, spending family, or giving back to community can help establish a sense of belonging and minimize feelings of loneliness

When to reach out for help

Sign you may be experiencing depression

Mental Health

  • Repetitive or Racing Thoughts
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Negative self-talk; low self-esteem
  • Thoughts of dying, suicide    

Emotional Health

  • Nervousness, hopelessness about future 
  • Feeling out of control
  • Sadness; unhappy; tense
  • Fearing the worst 

Physical Health

  • Difficulty Breathing; heart palpitations or racing
  • Fatigue; disrupted sleep
  • Irregular eating habits; lack of nutrition
  • Low in energy 

Social or Community Health

  • Fear of leaving the house
  • Avoidance; not attending classes
  • Lack of enjoyment in social environment
  • Overuse of alcohol or drugs

If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek help. Below you'll find a list of resources and supports available to you as a UFV student.

UFV resources

Community resources


If you are struggling with depression, reaching out for help can be one of the biggest challenges. The Wellness Centre aims to make that first step as safe and comfortable as possible. At the Wellness Centre, you can talk to a student peer, who can help you navigate the resources that best suit your needs. A student peer is there so you never have to go it alone. 

— Alec Z, BA student (4th year)



Please note that this website does not constitute, and should not be interpreted as, medical advice, diagnosis, or opinion. This website is for informational purposes only and is not guaranteed to be accurate, complete, reliable, or error-free. This website is not intended as a tool for self-diagnosis, is not a recommendation of a specific treatment plan or healthcare provider, and is not a substitute for proper medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek a consultation with a qualified medical or health professional.