We're Here For You
Holly Stewart is our Family School Liaison Counsellor (FSLC), she is a Registered Provisional Psychologist, and a Canadian Certified Counsellor and she is offering support by phone, email, and video during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Remote Counselling Support
During regular school, FSLCs support student wellbeing and mental health with in-person counsellors. Just because classes have ended doesn’t mean students don’t still need that support. Matthew Halton continues to offer counselling; connecting and communicating with home, medical, and mental health agencies; referrals to appropriate community agencies and resources as required; and crisis intervention and threat assessment.
Holly may be reached Monday-Thursday 8:30-3:30 and Friday 8:30-1:30.
Call Matthew Halton High School 403-627-4414 and ask to be directed to Holly, or you can also reach out directly by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For after-hours help call the Alberta Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642 or in case of emergency, call 911.
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Managing your Stress/Anxiety: It’s important to remember that anxiety is our body’s natural response to stress, and experiencing anxiety is a normal part of life. Sometimes, anxious feelings can begin to feel overwhelming; during these times, there are many things that we can do to help ourselves manage our anxiety better and begin to feel more in control:
Simple Breathing Strategies:
- Eyes open, or closed, sitting or laying down; if you desire to do so, you may place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly.
- Begin to slowly inhale through your nose as you count to four. Focus on filling your belly with your breath - feel your stomach expand as it fills with air.
- Slowly exhale your breath through your mouth for another count to four - notice how your stomach feels as it releases your breath.
- Repeat these steps for 10-15 minutes.
- Click here for more information.
Mindfulness - is defined as a “mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations”. Practicing Mindfulness has shown to have numerous benefits, including reducing our feelings of stress, anxiety and depression, while improving our sleep, ability to focus and enhancing our level of happiness. Click here for more information.
Breathing Practices 1 (5 min)
Breathing Practices 2 (9:22 min)
Nature Walk: Take a walk outside through nature. Notice the sights, the sounds, the smells. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? Take some deep slow breaths and observe and experience your surroundings. Notice how you feel; are you hot, or cold, is the wind blowing, the snow melting? Simply reflect on the present moment and all that it entails. When you find yourself getting distracted, come back to the scenery around you.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Senses: To increase your awareness and ground yourself in the present moment, mentally list five things you see, four things you hear, three things you feel, two things you smell, and one thing you taste.
Gratitude: Has been shown to have many positive health benefits such as improving psychological and physical health, enhancing our ability to feel empathy and choose kindness, reducing our sensations of anger and aggression, and increasing our mental strength and self esteem. Take a few moments each day to reflect upon all of the things, big and small, that you are so grateful for.
-create a gratitude list
-write a thank you letter
-journal your thoughts and ideas
-express your gratitude towards others through acts of kindness
Exercise is so important for physical health, but also for mental health and well-being. People who exercise regularly tend to feel more energetic, have greater focus, sleep better, feel more positive about themselves and their lives, and feel more relaxed and better able to cope with their daily life stressors. Exercise has been shown to be a natural and effective treatment for things like depression, anxiety and stress, and it doesn’t take much exercise for you to feel these benefits: 30 minutes of mild- to moderate-intensity exercise five days a week is enough. Click here for more information.
Simple Ideas that respect Social Distancing:
- Going for a walk or a hike
- Bike ride
For more intense ideas, check out these following links:
Alberta’s Mental Health Helpline is available 24-7 toll-free and offers confidential support for mental health concerns: 1-877-303-2642.
Alberta’s Addiction Helpline is available 24-7 toll-free and offers confidential support for alcohol, tobacco, other drugs and problem gambling: 1-866-332-2322
The Kids Help Phone is available 24-7 and offers professional counselling, information and referrals and volunteer-led, text-based support to young people by texting CONNECT to 686868.
The Crisis Text Line Alberta is a service available 24-7 that offers information, referrals and volunteer-led, text-based support for Albertans of all ages, by texting CONNECT to 741741.
Alberta 211 is a free helpline that connects Albertan's to community and social services in their area 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in over 150 languages.