What does mental health mean to you? With Bell Let’s Talk Day approaching on Wednesday, Jan. 30, Brock University hopes to find out.
An initiative started by Bell Canada nearly a decade ago, Bell Let’s Talk Day is an opportunity to promote awareness of mental health initiatives and address the importance of ending the stigma surrounding mental health. Individuals and organizations from across Canada will be joining the conversation, including Brock University.
Students, staff and faculty members are invited to share positive mental health and wellness messages by posting photos and videos of themselves on social media with the hashtags #BrockU and #BellLetsTalk.
Brock’s initiatives kick off Saturday, Jan. 26 at 2:15 p.m. with a Brock Badgers men’s hockey game against Lakehead University at the Seymour-Hannah Sports and Entertainment Centre in St. Catharines. The first 100 people at the game will receive a free Bell Let’s Talk toque. Fans will be encouraged to write positive messages on a large vinyl banner in the lobby and pledge to continue the mental health conversation. Speech bubbles will also be available to use in photos.
On Wednesday, Jan. 30, a large photo frame comprised of blue and white balloons will be set up on campus in front of the chalkboard wall in Thistle Complex, across from the Brock Card office. Peer health educators will be on site between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. encouraging passersby to fill out whiteboards and conversation bubbles. These positive mental health messages will be placed on the walls and windows of Thistle Complex to inspire continued conversations at Brock. There will also be free coffee and tea as well as resources available for students, staff and faculty. The event is organized in partnership with Brock Sports, Health Management and Wellness, Student Life and Community Experience and the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre (SWAC).
A similar photo experience organized by the Department of Residences will be set up in DeCew Residence Dining Hall from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Lowenberger Residence Dining Hall from 2 to 4 p.m. Students can write messages on speech bubbles and take their pictures in a photo booth. Images will be immediately emailed for students to post on social media.
Bell Let’s Talk Day events will conclude with a #ConvoPlate workshop organized by the Brock University Students’ Union and SWAC, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Isaac’s Bar and Grill. Participants will create decorative conversation plates and then pass them on in hopes of sparking mental health conversations. Space for the workshop is limited, so advance registration is required.
The #ConvoPlate movement was initiated by the Paul Hansell Foundation in memory of a former Brock student who lost his life by suicide. The foundation’s hope is that the decorative dishes make their way around the world. The plates have been passed to a number of influential people, including mental health advocate Margaret Trudeau, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, as well as Prince William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. In November 2017, Brock President Gervan Fearon was presented with a Convo Plate.
Also part of the University’s Bell Let’s Talk Day campaign is a video created by SWAC that encourages positivity and features student-athletes and peer health educators.
To learn more about Bell Let’s Talk Day, visit letstalk.bell.ca. For every applicable text, call, tweet, social media videos view and use of their Facebook frame or Snapchat filter on Wednesday, Jan. 30, Bell will donate five cents to Canadian mental health initiatives.
Mental health resources for students are available through the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre. They include:
- Counselling services are provided by Morneau Shepell counsellors.
- Call 1-833-BROCK33 (1-833-276-2533) for 24-7 urgent telephone counselling or to book an in-person appointment.
- Crisis drop-in counselling is available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday in ST 400 in the Arthur Schmon Tower.
- Call 906-688-5550 x3243 to book a confidential appointment with a physician or mental health nurse.
- Student Health Services is located in Harrison Hall.
- Office hours are Monday to Friday from 8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with evening drop-in available on Mondays.
- The HUB is located at TH 134 in the Thistle Complex off of Market Hall (look for signs).
- Students can drop in to speak with a peer health educator and ask questions about mental health, physical health and well-being.
- They will be connected to resources and groups that can further assist their mental wellness.
- Hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- The Open Door program is available evenings on Mondays and Tuesdays from 4 to 9 p.m.
Mental health resources for employees are available through the University’s Employee and Family Assistance Program and Green Shield Canada, which offers extended health benefits for counselling services.
Additional wellness resources for Brock staff and faculty with benefits, such as FeelingBetterNow, are available on the Human Resources SharePoint site.