A bright yellow bench sitting atop the Bata Library podium now serves as a visual reminder for all students at Trent University to engage in conversations around mental health, and reach out to others who might be in trouble.
The bench, part of the nationwide #YellowIsForHello campaign, a suicide prevention initiative that’s aimed at encouraging conversation and connecting students with mental health supports and resources, was brought to Trent by the Trent Central Student Association (TCSA) and unveiled on November 7 at a special event.
“The Friendship Bench was a project I heard about in the summer, and I knew right away it was something the TCSA wanted to see happen at Trent,” explains Alaine Spiwak, president, TCSA. “The Friendship Bench will be a daily reminder to students that it's okay to talk about mental health. The #YellowIsForHello program will help Trent continue to foster an environment where students are free to talk and learn about mental health.”
The #YellowIsForHello campaign launched over a year ago under the Lucas Fiorella Friendship Bench, a not-for-profit corporation started by the Fiorella family, whose son battled depression for years and eventually took his own life in 2014.
“We’re delighted to include Trent University among the 11 Canadian schools unveiling a Friendship Bench this fall," said Sam Fiorella, managing director of Lucas Fiorella Friendship Bench. "By joining the #YellowIsForHello program, Trent is making a powerful commitment to students that says we care about you, we care about your mental health."