With today being “Bell Let’s Talk” day, there has been a lot of positive conversations about mental health and wellness. The initiative started in 2010, which was a time where mental health and wellness was not at the forefront of a lot of conversations. The overwhelming response to this initiative in its first year showcased the need for more attention on mental health. These discussions lead to more funding for large and small organizations for access, care, and research towards mental health, and the conversation just keeps growing. Bell Let’s Talk has already donated over 79 million dollars to mental health and plans to continue to raise this number to over 100 million by 2020.
This organization looks at 4 pillars, which are anti stigma, improving access to care, workplace health, and research. These are all important because they can help encourage people to search for the help they need, and supports them in all areas of their life. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association over 20% of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime, so obviously this is something we should be openly talking about to reduce the stigma and encourage people to seek help if they feel overwhelmed. Below are some resources accessible to all Brescia students, and the SLC encourages you to put them to use!
Mindfullness Meditation (Brescia): This weekly session helps students learn the art of meditation, which has been shown to improve sense of self, and increase focus and positivity. It is an easy and fast way to reduce stress, and can be practiced anywhere! If you are a student who is interested in learning how to control their thoughts, and reduce anxiety, this may be the workshop for you! Every Wednesday until April 5th, 1:30-2:30 PM, The Rose Room
Jack.Org (Brescia): Jack.org Brescia, as a chapter of Jack.org, is the club on campus working with students and other bodies to create an environment free of stigma attached to mental health. Jack.org believes in creating change through conversation, and that those conversations can then be taken into our communities to spread the positive changes. If you want to get involved in this organization, and are interested in their initiatives, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Mental Health at Western (Western): If you are seeking counselling on campus, or are interested in what Western has to offer in terms of mental health support, visit http://se.uwo.ca/student_experience/wellness_initiatives/mental_health_resource_guide.html, to find a PDF of their mental health resource guide. Western also has a Wellness Education Centre, which offers all Western students a safe, comfortable environment to get connected with the wellness resources available at Western and in the London community. Located in UCC Room, 76. Follow @WellnessWestern on Twitter to get updates on events and mental health initiatives that are happening on campus
Whether you are struggling with mental illness, or are simply an ally of those who struggle, we should all begin difficult conversations around mental health to end the stigma. Remember, EVERY PERSON has mental health, so we need to make sure we take time to make people aware of the issues that surround it. Be kind to one another, ask if someone is okay if you suspect they are struggling, and listen when someone reaches out to you. Let’s all be involved in ending the stigma and reducing the number of people experiencing mental illness!