BY SARA BAWAR
The Sheridan community celebrated Bell Let’s Talk day by hosting events around the Trafalgar and HMC on Jan. 30. The movement, established by Bell Canada in 2010, encourages individuals to break down stigmas surrounding mental health and start the conversation.
Sheridan students on both campuses had a chance to learn about the college’s counselling services and SSU clubs. Those who attended were encouraged to post their Bell Let’s Talk poster to their social media with the hashtags #BellLetsTalk and #SheridanWellness. For every hashtag, Bell Canada donated 5 cents toward a mental health initiative. The event at TRC was in the Student Union atrium from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m and HMC hosted their event in the creative commons from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Sheridan student, Ariel Weiss works for the college’s health office at the Trafalgar Campus. “I always say that it’s important to talk about what you’re going through with your friends. Make sure that you don’t separate yourself from them so that you remember that you’re loved,” Weiss says.
She has some ideas about how students can be better supported. “Sheridan needs less wait times for students to see counsellors. It’s the biggest concern that I’ve heard while working in the health office.”
HMC’s awareness coordinator Jessenia Jovel says, “Sheridan students have a lot of resources that they can use. We have counselling at all three campuses where students can book appointments. Recently, the SSU has launched a new program called Empower Me, which is an online counselling forum, where students can log in and talk to a counsellor from the comfort of their own home.”
Jovel also talked about the stigmas surrounding mental health. “The perception is that it limits you to completing whatever you have to do. People have this misconception that if you struggle with mental health that you are incapable of finishing a task, which isn’t true,
“There is always someone that you could reach out to, whether it’s at friend, family member or counsellor. The worst thing you can do is going through something alone, so make sure to make those connections and let it out.”
This year, Bell Canada surpassed $100 million in donating funds to Canadian mental health programs. The official video for 2019 was posted on the Bell Let’s Talk twitter page, and included celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres, Seth Rogen, Alessia Cara and Howie Mandel. Bell donated 5 cents for every text or mobile call made through the Bell network, tweet using the hashtag, social media video view, or use of the Facebook or Snapchat filters.