Mind Power: 10 tips for student mental health

Jessica Boaventura had a problem with perfection.

“I was your picture-perfect girl,” says the University of Guelph psychology student, recalling her last year of high school. She had top grades, plenty of friends, sang in a vocal program and was a star player on the rugby team. “There were lots of awards and accomplishments and nothing tragic ever happened in my life. I liked excelling,” says Boaventura, who says she often put pressure on herself to try and always do better.

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Then one day the pressure got to her. “Depression hit me like a truck when I was in Grade 12. I felt like crying all the time.”

Boaventura was diagnosed with depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Over the next several years she received therapy, tried various medications and was even hospitalized for two brief periods when her mental state reached a crisis point.

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