Michelle Balge knows how important help is when dealing with mental health issues.
For years, she has struggled with severe depression and social anxiety.
“I’ve had suicidal thoughts since I was 14,” she says. “Once I did reach out, that’s when I started the healing process. If I didn’t get help, I wouldn’t be here right now.”
In high school and again in university, she reached out and found the resources she needed to feel better and overcome her struggles.
The fourth-year sociology student wants to inspire other people with mental health issues to do the same if they need help.
If I didn’t get help, I wouldn’t be here right now.
“There are services at Brock University and the Niagara Region that can help people,” she said.
Brock University’s Students’ Union has teamed up with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health for One Brave Night for Mental Health being held Friday, March 4 from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
The overnight event is aimed at raising money for CAMH and raising awareness about mental health and the supports available.
“We are always so focused on our studies so we need ways to cope and gain different skills and tools to do that,” Balge says. “Mental health awareness is so important to everybody, whether they are facing their own issues or not.”
Brian Hansell, founder of the Paul Hansell Foundation, will be speaking about the loss of his son Paul, who was a first-year Brock student when he died. The foundation’s goal is to eliminate the stigma of mental illness and support youth-based mental health programs.
The night also includes other speakers, yoga, zumba, mental health bingo, movies and board games.
Food and snacks are free at the event, which is non-alcoholic. It’s being held at Isaac’s on campus.
The Brock Badgers team has raised the most money with $2,735 for One Brave Night, which is holding events across the country.
Balge said it’s free to register and everyone is welcome. The first 100 people to show up get a free T-shirt.