Could You Use a Mental Health Kit
Mental Health First Aid Kit
There are first aid kits for medical emergencies. Why not an anxiety kits for stress or panic attacks? This is a very interesting idea that could be useful for people who have anxiety in public situations. Although this is not a cure for anxiety, it can certainly help reduce the symptoms of your anxiety.
Mental Health Kits at University
The University of Waterloo purchased 7100 PASS kits for first year students. The students will be given the mental health first aid kit in their orientation which is just fantastic they are spreading awareness and giving it to those students who are very susceptible to anxiety and stress.
When I was in University, I wish I got received one of these mental health kits. Well, thinking about it now, I probably would not have thought to much of it and would not have used it. When I first started post-secondary, my anxiety was probably at its lowest point in my life. I was making great strides at overcoming all those fears my anxiety created. I might have not used it but it does not change the fact this is still a great idea. I am sure there are a lot of other students that would have found this very helpful during their time in post-secondary education.
Watch the following video of a University of Waterloo student who created this mental health first aid kit:
What’s Inside the Kit
I purchased a kit for myself as I was very interested in using it for myself. Also, I wanted to support their product so it could spread to other universities. This is my personal review of the mental health first aid kit. I keep this kit nearby so whenever I feel like I need it, it is there for me to use.
The Panic Anxiety Stress Support (PASS) kit includes:
Stress Toy to release tension in your muscles and promote relaxation
Re+Minder Cards which give quick mental heal advice and reminders in times of need
Ear Plugs to lower background noise
Eye Mask to block out irritating light for better rest
Chewing Gum to discourage mindless eating for those trying to break a habit
The stress toy is great for me. I always have a need to fidget or grip things in my hands. I cannot keep still, and my hands need to be kept busy. Usually I do this by excessively clicking the mouse or typing on the computer. If I have a pen and notebook out, I will usually grip my pen, or click the pen clicker continuously. Having a stress toy, I think is great and helps me by having something to grip things in my hands when I need it.
The reminder cards consist of tips and reminders that of daily things that can help you reduce the chances of anxiety or stress. This includes 5 key areas to target:
Your Body - If your body is reacting normally, did you get enough sleep or enough to eat?
Your Mind - Are you feeling the stress or pressure, do you need to calm your mind?
You & Them - Are you comparing yourself to another person’s success?
Your Feelings - How you are feeling about yourself?
Your Lifestyle - What are you habits and decisions like?
These tips are great and can be useful when you use them. However, the difficulty is when you are experiencing high levels of anxiety you may not be able to think of using the Re+Minder cards to help to destress. This would work when your anxiety or stress level is at the low-medium range and you are still able to recognize that something maybe is not right. Then you would have an opportunity to use these cards to help with that situation. The other challenge is which card do you use. Flipping through the cards can be a bit tedious if you are trying to destress.
With that said I still think this is a great tool to keep in your bag so it’s readily available when you need it. Also, I would recommend going through the tips and reminders to familiarize yourself with them. This is so you do not spend a lot of time trying to read and understand them when you need it.
Ear Plugs & Eye Mask
I personally do not like ear plugs or eye masks. These two do not work for me as ear plugs hurt my ears and I just do not like to wear eye masks in general. This however, could be useful for you. When you need to block out that unwanted noise the ear plugs can be helpful. Also, if you are having trouble sleeping the eye mask could be useful in blocking out that unwanted light to get a peaceful rest.
I do not personally chew gum, but I think this would be good for me. I have a tendency to snack excessively when I am stressed. Having something like chewing gum to keep my mouth busy would help in relieving this.
Would I Recommend This?
Definitely, I personally really like the Re+Minder Cards. They give really good tips and reminders during the day. Only thing about the cards is when you are experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety you probably would not be able to think of using the cards. The idea is to identify when stress or anxiety is starting to happen and are able to use the Re+Minder Cards to manage it. The stress toy is also nice to carry around if that’s something you feel would help.
Being aware of your window of tolerance and when you experience symptoms of anxiety will help you be more aware of what is happening to yourself. From there you will be able to identify what symptom your experiencing and grab your PASS kit for the necessary tool that could help alleviate your stress and anxiety.