Bonnie Lin: My Mental Health Journey during COVID-19

Bonnie Lin: My Mental Health Journey during COVID-19

Published: 8 September 2020

When everything changed earlier this year, Bonnie found herself feeling incredibly overwhelmed and riddled with uncertainty. In light of R U OK? Day recently, we asked Bonnie to share her mental health journey during COVID-19.

Seeking mental health support

Before the lockdown, I talked to one of the International Student Advisors at the university about time management. I felt I spent too much time reading news about the coronavirus and I wanted to get some advice on it. 

The situation was manageable before Sydney entered lockdown. [After that] I felt more stressed and realised that I could not concentrate well to study for one of my mid-term exams. 

I decided to contact the Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS). After hearing my concerns, the psychologist I met provided two options – to see a psychologist in my suburb or attend an online cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) program called This Way Up. I chose the latter one as it is more flexible. Meanwhile, I still see the advisor once a week to chat online.

Improvements and achievements

I finished a whole program on This Way Up and talked to my advisor until the end of the first term. I gained a lot of tools from This Way Up to help me reduce my stress. Many of them are things I have learned in my psychology courses, but they feel very different when I actually practise them. 

Advice for fellow international students

It’s OK to not feel OK, especially this year. Spend more time every day on your physical health, as well as your mental health. Do basic stuff – exercise several times a week, eat healthy food, have enough sleep, and practise mindfulness. 

R U OK? Day

R U OK? Day is a really good initiative to encourage the community to think about mental health and check in with each other.

[If your friends are going through a tough time], start a genuine conversation with them. By simply asking “R U OK?”, one can feel being cared about and the conversation can be a valuable light in your friend’s life – you never know. 

Read more of Bonnie's experience at the link below.

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