First-year students at the University of Waterloo (UW) will receive a mental health first aid kit during orientation for the first time this year.
They’re called a PASS kit, which stands for panic, anxiety and stress support. The kits were developed by one of the university’s own students, Tina Chan, to help students get through mental health problems.
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“It’s really nice to know that something my company has created is recognized as a useful tool and that down the road it can help one or two people get through their mental health problem,” Chan said.
The University of Waterloo recently purchased 7,100 PASS kits to hand out to first-year students this fall.
Each kit includes a squeezable stress star, ear plugs, a sleeping mask, a pack of gum and a deck of 25 flash cards with steps a person can take when they are experiencing anxiety or stress symptoms.
The kits are small and compact so that people can take the kit with them while on campus, and each kit has a personalized message from each faculty dean.
Chan hopes the kits will help students manage their anxiety, especially those coping with the transition from high school to university, something she struggled with herself.