Mental health awareness is being highlighted at the University as the Trent Durham Student Association (TDSA) launchs a series of talks, initiatives and activities to shine a light on mental wellness.
“Our Mental Health Awareness Week is an opportunity for the TDSA to increase exposure of mental health services and resources available on and off campus to our students,” notes Joe Cassidy-Skof, president of the TDSA. “Through the activities offered on campus, we hope to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and to equip our students with the information and resources to help themselves, a friend or stranger in need.”
Planned activities include a social media campaign, an interactive information table set up in the atrium, as well as a stress-relieving session with therapy dogs and free massages.
The TDSA has also invited guest speaker, Lee Thomas to share her story about her struggle with mental health. A mental health and wellness coordinator at Student VIP, Ms. Thomas will share a presentation entitled S.T.I.G.M.A., discussing about her own mental wellness and the stigma she faced in living with mental health concerns. Her story involves overcoming internal and external stigma, and the presentation encourages people to think differently about mental health on our campus and in our community.
Rounding out the planned initiatives is a mental health first aid training course offered to pre-registered students who wish to participate.
“I think these activities will act as an entry point for discussion, engage a broad spectrum of students and inform them of practices and resources that might be specific to them but to also improve their understanding of the issues their peers, family and friends face,” added Mr. Cassidy-Skof.