ADHD and Academic Success: Tips and Strategies Workshop

ADHD Workshop Web Banner - 2015-01

You can manage ADHD and achieve academic success.

Two-part workshop, free for UBC students

Part one: Thursday, January 29, 2015: 4:15 – 6:00 PM
Part two: Thursday, February 5, 2015: 4:15 – 6:00 PM
Brock Hall, 1874 East Mall | Room 2001
Hosted by Counselling Services and Access and Diversity
Please register for this event

This workshop is designed to help students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and will explore topics like time management, dealing with procrastination, using self-care to stay balanced, and working with your strengths.

The event is free but has limited space so be sure to register early!

Making your own decisions about alcohol

Post by Kelly White, M.Ed., C.H.E.S., UBC Wellness Centre Coordinator

Making decisions around alcohol use is an individual choice that most students are faced with at some point during their university experience. There’s a lot to consider including whether or not to drink, how much to drink, how regularly, and what kinds of activities to take part in when drinking.

To feel comfortable in your personal decisions about drinking alcohol you can start thinking about them before you arrive at a party or start drinking. This includes knowing the facts, knowing your own values, and ultimately making up your own mind.

How alcohol affects the body

Gathering facts and information is a great way to start. In particular, it’s important to know the effects of alcohol on your body.

Your blood alcohol content (BAC) is determined by several factors including:

Arts Wellness Fair

See how living well can help you have an even better university experience.

Drop by for the Wellness Centre’s Caffeine Challenge or UBC Recreation’s Bike Blender to create your own smoothie. Take this opportunity to learn more about a range of wellness concepts and have your questions answered. Free refreshments and raffle gifts await.


Wednesday, January 15, 11am–2pm
Buchanan D, 1866 Main Mall | Room D140 (Meekison Arts Student Space) Continue reading “Arts Wellness Fair”

ADHD Workshop

You can manage Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and achieve academic success.

Workshop details

Tuesday, January 21, 4:15–6pm
Brock Hall, 1874 East Mall, Room 2001
Hosted by Counselling Services and Access and Diversity
Registration required

This workshop is designed to help students with ADHD and will explore topics like time management, dealing with procrastination, using self-care to stay balanced, and working with your strengths.

The event is free but has limited space so be sure to register early.

Recent UBC grad shares perspectives on mental health

Photo credit: Joshua Beharry

Everyone has mental health and some face challenges related to mental illness. UBC students are no exception, with depression reported as one of the most common mental health concerns.

Joshua Beharry, a recent UBC graduate, just launched a website to share his first-person perspective on mental health. Josh’s stories and essays touch on a variety of topics like depression, anxiety, stigma, and recovery.

I asked Josh a few questions to learn more about the new site and how it might help others think about and explore their own mental health.

C. What is Mental Health Point of View?

J. MHPOV (Mental Health Point of View) shares my experiences with anxiety, depression, and attempted suicide. MHPOV aims to provide a comprehensive look at mental illness and mental health from a first person point of view. Continue reading “Recent UBC grad shares perspectives on mental health”

Groups at Counselling Services: What are they, and why try them?

Post by Shahbano Bhatti, third-year Psychology student and Counselling Services Assistant

I’ve always been curious as to how group counselling works,  so I decided to interview Margaret Drewlo, (M.A., Pre-Doctoral Intern,) at Counselling Services to find out more about these programs.

Me: What group programs does Counselling Services offers?

Margaret: We have three groups running on Wednesday evenings:

Mindfulness Stress Management is a group for students who want to develop skills to cope effectively with negative emotions, tolerate distress and develop healthy relationships.

Anxiety Management is a group for students who experience anxiety symptoms physically or cognitively and want to find a long-term solution to manage these symptoms.

Mood Management is a group for students to reduce and manage symptoms of depression.

Students meet with a counsellor prior to determining which resources will be helpful in addressing their concerns and are then referred appropriately.

Me: What is the benefit of attending a group session? Continue reading “Groups at Counselling Services: What are they, and why try them?”

Oatmeal Blueberry Banana Bread: The friend-maker

The finished product: Oatmeal Blueberry Banana Bread

Post by the Wellness Centre Nutrition and Physical Health team

If you’re looking for a healthy baked treat that you can eat as a study snack or even grab on the way out for breakfast, look no further! This week we’re featuring low-fat Oatmeal Blueberry Banana Bread!

This recipe is almost fat-free, uses minimal added sugar, and has no butter! How often is something so delicious butter-free? If you’ve never tried the sweet tangy combination of bananas and blueberries, prepare to fall in love with this simple recipe. It’s also a great recipe to share (your friends will adore you).

This recipe has a variety of health benefits:

  • Oats have tons of fibre to help keep you full longer.
  • Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruit, which can boost your immune system and help prevent infection.
  • Bananas are high in potassium, which helps the body’s circulatory system deliver oxygen to the brain.

In short, this recipe can help you feel refreshed, full, and focused between meals or when you’re starting a long day of classes. Continue reading “Oatmeal Blueberry Banana Bread: The friend-maker”

Lemon- Soy Red Snapper with Veg: Inexpensive and ready in a snap

Post by the Wellness Centre Nutrition and Physical Health team

Looking to switch up your weekday meal routine? Give fish a try! This versatile recipe can be used with any fish, including salmon, basa, tilapia, or mackerel. The lemon soy marinade provides a delicious full-flavoured tang that’s sure to delight your taste buds.

Even better is the fact that this recipe is relatively inexpensive and is easy to make: a perfect combo for any busy student.

Benefits of this meal

This meal is great for you because:

Easy Overnight Oats: Never skip breakfast again

Ready-to-eat oats with hazelnut and honey topping

Post by the Wellness Centre Nutrition and Physical Health team

You’ve heard it time and time again: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Unfortunately most of us don’t have the time to make a healthy breakfast in the morning.

Often it’s a choice between sleeping in, showering, or eating. Don’t let that happen to you again! March is Nutrition Month and so this is a great time to try incorporating healthier eating habits into your day (like eating breakfast regularly).

Try this super simple recipe that can be prepared the night before and made in endless variations. It’s really inexpensive, too, which is always a good thing.

Benefits of eating breakfast

Eating breakfast is good for you because it:

Get the free, rapid HIV test

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Nurse Cherlyn Cortes explains what’s involved in a rapid HIV test.

During OutWeek 2013, Know on the Go, PrideUBC, YouthCo and UBC Student Health Service are pleased to offer free, drop-in, rapid HIV testing in the SUB on:

  • Drop-in: February 5, 11am–4 pm, SUB, room 42V and 224
  • Drop-in: February 8, 7pm–11pm, SUB, Council Chambers and room 211
  • Appointments are also available on February 5 and 8 (see the bottom of this post)

How rapid is “rapid” HIV testing?

Results are available in as little as five minutes. A nurse will also speak with you about the test and answer any questions you have before and after the test.

Why should you consider the test?

Being aware of your sexual health is an important aspect of your overall health, and knowing your status is one of the most important ways you can be aware.

Speak to a doctor if you’re ever concerned about your sexual health. If you’re sexually active, get tested yearly (or up to every 3 months if you engage in unprotected sex or use injection drugs).

Even if you are in a long-term, monogamous relationship, it is best to always use protection and for you and your partner to get tested regularly.

More information

Learn more about sexually transmitted infections like HIV.

Make a rapid HIV test appointment

Tuesday, February 5: SUB, room 56A

11:00 AM

11:30 AM

12:00 PM

12:30 PM

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3:30 PM

Friday, February 8: SUB Council Chambers and room 211

7:00 PM

7:30 PM

8:00 PM

8:30 PM

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10:00 PM

10:30 PM


Winter break on a budget: Events and DIY gift ideas

Image credit: dominicotine via Flickr

Post by Navi Dasanjh, UBC student and Counselling Services project assistant.

With the winter break on the horizon (LESS THAN TWO WEEKS Y’ALL) many of us will wonder: “where did all this free time come from?” and, “what should I do with it?”. Also potentially daunting is facing gift-giving season with limited funds.

Things you can do: Events on a budget

Staying in Vancouver for the break? Try these community events to keep occupied and get the mental break that you may have been lacking over last few weeks:

Bright Nights and Christmas Train through Stanley Park

This iconic event has been a holiday ‘must-do’ in Vancouver for years. Grab a group of friends and take in the array of decorations and lights in Stanley Park.

Luminescence at the Vancouver Aquarium

This is the Vancouver Aquarium’s latest exhibit, showcasing a variety of fluorescent and bioluminescent light that exists at the bottom of the ocean.

FREE Ice Skating at Robson Square

Since reopening for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, the outdoor skating at Robson Square has been one of Vancouver’s most popular winter activities.

    • December 1–February 28.
    • Skate rentals: $4.00, helmets and ice cleats: $2.00.

Things you can make: Gifts for the budget-conscious

Entertainment aside, the holiday is, for many, a time of giving and sharing with loved ones. The student lifestyle can put a dent in any bank account, so here are some DIY (do it yourself) suggestions for simple yet thoughtful gift ideas that won’t break your bank balance.


Easily made from gluing scrabble tiles or other trinkets together.

Labelled/doodled jars, glasses, and mugs

Chalkboard paint (available from your local dollar or craft store) can be an eccentric and easy addition to jars, glasses, and other containers for labelling/general doodling.

Paper mache bowls, ornaments

Add leaves! These wonders of nature hold their rigidity when mixed with paper mache, so you can use them to make bowls, ornaments, and many other things. Get creative!

Scarves and touques

Try your hand at knitting or crocheting: yarn can be incredibly cheap, and simple patterns for scarves can be easy to learn. These items also make great gifts for the cold winter season.

Baked goods

Because who doesn’t love a delicious snack? With tons of recipes available via the interwebs, you’ll undoubtedly find the perfect treat, no matter your culinary skill level! If you shy away from the oven (much like I do), here are a few recipes that are a great start.

These crafty ideas not only make for great and affordable gifts, but can also provide some much needed artistic and therapeutic relief.

No matter how you may be spending the holidays, there are plenty of activities and gifts out there with the frugal student budget in mind. Happy holidays to you all, and don’t forget to look after yourself over these last few weeks! Best of luck!

Study snack: Honey-glazed Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas

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As we finish up the last few weeks of class and head into exam season once again, it is easy to fall into bad eating habits amidst all the madness

Why waste time on food preparation when we have papers to finish and chapters to catch up on, right? But this is the period when your body needs you to take care of it the most.

Fortunately, the Wellness Centre Nutrition Team has a solution for you: study snacks.

Study snacks

Study snacks have so many things going for them, why wouldn’t you love them?

  1. They are delicious. “I don’t like delicious food”, said no one ever.
  2. They don’t take much time away from surfing Reddit and Facebook to prepare.
  3. They help you get in nutrients you otherwise would be lacking in.
  4. They keep your mouth occupied when trying to focus – hey, fewer chewed up pens? We could all use that.
  5. They make you the most popular person at your study group table.

The key is to choose your study snacks wisely. And to help you with that, we have gone the extra mile to provide you with a simple, delicious recipe to try your hands at making!

Honey-glazed Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas


  • 1 15 oz. can of chickpeas
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp honey


  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Place the chickpeas in a bowl.
  • Add canola oil, cinnamon, sugar, salt, and honey. Mix.
  • Line baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Spread chickpeas evenly on parchment paper.
  • Bake for 40 minutes.
  • Cool and enjoy.

Get physical!

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Students from Healthy Minds, the Wellness Centre, and UBC REC decided to find out how students stay active at UBC (video).

Counselling Services: You’re not in it alone

Guest post by UBC students Navi Dasanjh and Shahbano Bhatti

University – a place of excitement, adventure, learning, and growth. While the university experience can be filled with wonder and joy, it undoubtedly also has its perils (helllooo, midterm season).

Throughout this time, no matter how daunting your school/work/personal life my feel, always remember to take a step back and have some time to yourself. Also remember that you’re not in it alone – there are numerous campus resources to help you through whatever rough patch you may be facing.

Getting through personal difficulties

Counselling Services is one of these resources. Free to all registered UBC students, Counselling Services is a group of trained professionals available to chat, listen, and help you through any personal difficulties you may be facing.

Helpful tips from Vanita Sabharwal, Counsellor

We sat down with one of the counsellors, Vanita Sabharwal, to learn more about her work and get some helpful tips.

Continue reading “Counselling Services: You’re not in it alone”

Video: What UBC students do to find balance

What do you do to find balance when things get busy? We asked a few students at UBC to find out.

Tips in action

Navi: Eating well, sleeping lots, and getting involved

Learn about eating well and see how other students work good nutrition into their busy schedules. Also find out tips for getting a good sleep tonight. Once you’re full and well-rested, learn how to get involved and have fun.

Saliha: Go jogging

Get active for free with Rexercise, or consider one of these recommended running routes via the Ubyssey (stay safe by running with a friend).

Charlotte: Work to keep your own personal goals

Try setting SMART goals this term.

Vanya: Dance and eat chocolate

Chocolate can make almost any situation way more enjoyable. According to the CBC, there is increasing evidence that some chocolate can actually have specific health benefits (with some caveats, of course). Once you’re done with the chocolate, dance off all that energy in a UBC REC dance class.

Krystal: Take time for myself and get together with friends

Schedule in some time for yourself, or plan something with a friend. Scheduling ahead will help make sure you stick to your plan.

Find your own balance

There are many different kinds of balance, and everyone has a different definition. Generally, having balance means taking care of all the areas that make up your life and your well-being. When you have balance, you feel good. When you feel good, it’s easier to focus on being your best in school and in life.

More tips for balance

Learn specific and simple things you can try today for better balance.

How do you find balance?

Share your tips using the comments below.

Survey: Help develop online resources for mental health!

Youth Mental Health Impact Survey

The BELL Youth Mental Health IMPACT Survey

Why we need you: Mental health difficulties commonly develop in adolescence and early adulthood, but young people often don’t access services when they need help.

We are developing an online mental health portal for young people to access information and treatment, and we want this portal to be based on the opinions and needs of youth aged 17 – 24.

The details

  • What’s involved: A short, 15-minute online survey.
  • Who we’re looking for: Anyone 17 – 24 years of age and living in Canada.
  • As a thank you: We’ll send you a $5 electronic gift card to your choice of Starbucks, Chapters or for completing the survey!
  • Who we are: The Dr. Michael Krausz Research Team at the University of British Columbia.

Participate in the survey

Participate in our survey:

More information about the survey:

Healthy Minds Tip: Prepare for good health and good grades

Image credit: Student Communications Services

Are you a new student coming to UBC? If so, welcome! Getting good grades is probably one of your goals for the year ahead. But have you thought about good health while at university?

Good health, good grades

UBC students say that their mental and physical health has a big impact on how well they do in school [1]. The simple explanation for this is that your mind is ready to learn when you take care of your well-being.

Fortunately, living a healthy life while at university is easier than you might think. Here are four tips to get you started:

1. Make sure you have health insurance

Good health starts with making sure you have basic and supplementary (extended) health insurance (whether you’re a domestic or international student).

2. Pack the right supplies

If you’re going to be living away from home:

3. Make a plan for good mental and physical health

Eating well, staying active, getting enough sleep, and learning how to manage stress and anxiety are just some of the things that are vital to your success. The Live Well Learn Well website has more student-focused tips and guides that can help you plan for good health.

4. Reach out when you need help

We all need help from time to time. Reach out when you need assistance, before difficulties become overwhelming. Keep these three important resources in mind:

  • Wellness Centre: staffed by trained student volunteers who have a passion for mental and physical health promotion. They can share health resources with you and refer you to counselling or health services.
  • Counselling Services: offers counselling for UBC students wanting assistance with a wide range of concerns.
  • Student Health Service clinic: offers health care for registered UBC students year-round. Services are provided by family doctors and registered nurses.


[1] American College Health Association (2009), National College Health Assessment