Brock student wins provincial contest for Cope Care Connect initiative

Kaitlyn Kerridge receiving her award at today's event at CAMH in Toronto.

Kaitlyn Kerridge receiving her award at today's event at CAMH in Toronto.

A third-year Brock Health Sciences student, Kaitlyn Kerridge, has taken first prize in a province-wide competition that challenged students to use social media to help boost mental health at university campuses across Ontario.

Her winning entry in the Mental Health 2.0 student social media contest stemmed from a class project in which students developed a comprehensive social marketing campaign called Cope Care Connect.

Kerridge’s focus on using Facebook for sharing inspirational quotes, information on mental health, videos and self-help materials for skill-building, and ‘selfies’ of healthy ways to cope, care and connect, was recognized as an ideal way to encourage positive mental health among all students on campus.

She was recognized with a $1,500 prize at an event today at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto.

“We’re happy to see the hard work undertaken by these students to help inspire their fellow classmates has been recognized,” says Kim Meade, Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Student Services at Brock. “We’re committed to fostering a healthy campus for our students and student-driven initiatives like this are at the core of that commitment. Congratulations to Kaitlyn and her team.”

The Mental Health 2.0 challenge was co-ordinated by the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) with funding support from the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment. Winners were selected from a list of 10 finalists by a panel of experts in accessibility, mental health and social media.

“Students’ mental health remains a top priority for Ontario’s universities and Mental Health 2.0 is just one way universities are addressing it,” says Bonnie M. Patterson, COU’s President and CEO. “The knowledge gained around mental health will help students act as more informed and compassionate members of their communities.”

Cope Care Connect, which launched in February 2014, was a month-long online and face-to-face campaign at Brock targeted at first-year students.

Using info tables, a website, YouTube and Facebook pages, the initiative encouraged students to share their experiences – good and bad – and learn effective ways to cope with the demands they face. It also featured student contests aimed at inspiring random acts of kindness to help boost the spirits of others at the University.

Cope Care Connect is a partnership with Student Health Services and is supported by the Student Life fee.

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