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Best Spots to have a Mental Breakdown on Campus

By Joshua Boucher

An emotional, mental, or nervous breakdown is typically understood to be a temporary period of intense mental distress. While this is not considered to be a proper medical term, I’m using it anyway because I’m not a proper medical satirist. Whether these intense periods occur because of stress, anxiety, depression, lack of sleep, or a combination thereof, it’s useful to know where you can go to safely, comfortably, and privately freak the fuck out.

Universal bathroom, CAW basement

This location has already been praised in a previous article that reviewed bathrooms on campus, and the pros from that piece translate over into this one quite well. The main thing to know about this location is that it is extremely private. This spacious washroom is single-use and located past the campus bookstore, so it offers privacy by virtue of both the room itself and where the room is located. For these reasons, this is the ideal spot for those breakdowns where you just need to curl into the fetal position and have a good, long cry without anyone interrupting you.

Top of The Staircase, Memorial Hall

This one’s pretty weird, but hear me out. Memorial Hall is a three-floor building, not including the basement, but the staircase continues past the third floor to a door that is presumably for custodian use only or something. I don’t know. Point being, the landing at the top of the staircase is out of view from everything. There are no windows and it can’t be seen from people using the stairs for the lower levels.

If you’re having the kind of breakdown where you just need to silently sit down, stare at a wall, and dissociate for a good chunk of time without anyone bothering you, this is the spot for you. And if you’re breakdown isn’t exactly silent, don’t worry! Most passersby will assume you’re one of the many wailing poltergeists that haunt the university campus and leave you alone.

Stewart Moore Carolinian Garden, Near Leddy West

This quaint little spot is currently a bunch of dead plants, but during the spring-time it can be something to look at. This garden is situated in front of the South wall of Leddy Library West, and has a couple of concrete benches for troubled students to sit down and stare at the greenery (or brownery, this time of year). Although this isn’t exactly private, being present in nature can do wonders for the emotionally distraught.

For example, a 2005 study published in HortScience found that people with a view of, or in the presence of, plants were less anxious than those who weren’t. Why is this? Well, I only had access to the abstract, but I assume plants are psychic entities that emit calming energy beams to lull us into a false sense of peace so that they can eventually usurp humanity as the dominant life form on Earth with minimal effort.

Student Counselling Centre, Room 293 CAW Student Centre

And finally, the best place to have a breakdown is in the presence of trained professionals who are employed to help you cope with, and prevent, these intense emotional episodes. The SCC is open from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM during the week, but is closed from 12:00-1:00 PM, because even counsellors need to have lunch. Appointment slots run on the hour, starting at 9:00 AM and ending at 3:00 PM. There are also walk-in hours for new clients, going from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM every weekday. If you feel that you might breakdown at any point this semester, reach out to the people who are best suited to help you through it.

And, as my counsellor says at the end of all her emails,

Take good care.

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