Let’s Talk Mental Health: With Aumnia, Student Services Coordinator
Mental Health is becoming increasingly important to talk about in many spaces such as schools, workplaces, and other institutions. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), just as our physical health is important, so is our mental health. That’s why we value and strongly encourage conversations around mental health with our staff, students, and community. We had the pleasure of having an honest conversation with Aumnia, a student services coordinator at the Calgary City Centre campus.
This past year has not been an easy one for many. Through the ongoing global pandemic, mental health plays a crucial role in overcoming our challenges. As an avid advocate for mental health, Aumnia ensures that her friends and family are cared for. "I care a lot for my friends, family, and community. It's a part of my job to make sure I'm taking care of them," says Aumnia.
Despite Aumnia being a shoulder that her friends and family could rely on, she also previously had her own struggles with mental health. She recalled numerous occasions where she woke up unmotivated and not feeling herself. Aumnia was able to overcome her challenges through self-help books and other mental health resources that allowed her to feel empowered.
Select Your Self-Care
"When your mental health is bad it impacts how you are doing. It all hit when COVID-19 started. I was doing online school and not working, but I needed to find a way to get motivated and stay out of bed," says Aumnia.
In response to that, she incorporated self-care practices such as getting her nails done, following a skincare routine, putting on makeup, and taking pictures. Aumnia also applied her passion for taking pictures into doing her own self-photography and curating an Instagram page as a mental health advocate.
"As soon as I realized I was doing what I loved, I was motivated to find a job, to volunteer and work out," says Aumnia.
Managing her mental health helped Aumnia excel in school and find herself a new job. She has positively impacted serving as a mental health advocate/blogger who uses her social media to encourage and uplift others, while sharing her own mental health experiences.
Furthermore, Aumnia found comfort in confiding in her family, who supported her throughout her mental health journey. "My parents are my best friends, and fortunately, I can tell them anything, so it was easy for me to be open with them." says Aumnia.
She shared share that it helped to have someone there who knew what she was going through. Aumnia acknowledges that not everyone is ready to be vulnerable with their family and friends when it comes to looking for support with mental health. She recommends that those who are not comfortable talking about it with family and friends seek out support from resources such as Alberta Health Services.
Working closely with students in Student Services, Aumnia has seen first-hand the importance of mental health in everyone lives, seeing multiple student's unable to complete their studies due to mental health issues.
The Future Is Hopeful
Though becoming increasingly common topic, mental health is still heavily stigmatized among many communities. Aumnia is hopeful that the world is changing and that social media is helping fight stigma toward mental health.
"I love the way that social media is changing views and opening up spaces for people to have conversations around mental health," says Aumnia
You can follow Aumnia’s journey here on her Instagram page @aumniaak.
Learn more about mental health and the resources available to you here.