Brock is gearing up for a week dedicated to mental health.
In an effort to raise awareness and erase the stigma surrounding mental health, Brock is participating in the national mental health campaign Bell Let’s Talk Day on Thursday, Jan. 28.
On the one-day event, Bell will donate five cents towards mental health initiatives in Canada for every applicable text, call, tweet, TikTok video, Instagram post, Snapchat filter or Facebook post published using #BellLetsTalk.
“The Bell Let’s Talk campaign is important because it reminds us that stigma and how we talk about mental health are so influential on students seeking mental health supports,” said Sarah Pennisi, Director of Brock’s Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre (SWAC). “The events offered through SWAC are meant to continue to raise awareness of what we offer and to invite those students who need us to reach out.”
Almost half of the Brock student population report experiencing negative effects of mental health, especially with the unique stressors they face this year as they navigate the virtual learning experience.
When in-person services were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SWAC quickly responded by launching phone and video appointments, online resources, and virtual drop-in services and peer support.
While actions like this have made Brock a leader in campus mental health, with Brock ranking first among all comprehensive universities in Canada for mental health supports in the annual Maclean’s University Rankings for the third-consecutive year, the University continues to look for even better ways to support students’ mental health as the demand grows and needs change.
Earlier this week, Brock announced it had surpassed the ambitious goal of raising $250,000 to support students’ mental health and well-being. The funding will allow the University to enhance and expand resources for students needing support.
Now, as Bell Let’s Talk Day approaches, Brock is launching a full week of mental health initiatives to facilitate a space for open conversations about mental health and wellness, and to give the opportunity for the community to donate toward providing essential mental health support.
From Thursday, Jan. 21 to Thursday, Jan. 28, any donations of $10 or more to the Student Mental Health Fund through SWAC will give donors the opportunity to send a personalized cookie to a student.
Words of encouragement, a personal story of the donor’s time at Brock or well wishes can be added to the cookie gram, which will be delivered to a student during the exam period at the end of the Winter Term.
The cookies will be provided by Cate Basic (BA ’15, BA ’17) through her local business, Boxed Cookies.
“A driving factor in why I do what I do and why I love it is that I get to make an impact and serve my community,” said Basic. “Supporting local is at the heart of Boxed Cookies, by sourcing local ingredients, partnering with small businesses and donating $1 of every box back to Niagara through the Brock Student Mental Health Fund.”
Basic began her giving back campaign a few months ago with the goal to support students’ mental health at Brock. With the help of a pair of anonymous donors who have committed to matching every $100 she raises, Basic has now donated $1,000 to Brock’s Student Mental Health Fund through cookie sales.
To donate to the Student Mental Health Fund at Brock, visit brocku.ca/donate and select ‘Student Mental Health’ as the designation for the gift.
A number of other mental health-focused initiatives are scheduled to run virtually throughout the week to encourage the Brock community to take care of their well-being.
In partnership with Brock’s Human Rights and Equity, SWAC has launched their student-centred campaign, Be Well Badgers. The campaign consists of two weeks filled with events and workshops that take a proactive approach to student well-being and self-care.
Students who participate in four of the events have a chance to win a $50 Skip the Dishes gift card. All of the Be Well Badgers events can be found on ExperienceBU.
From Monday, Jan. 25 to Friday, Jan. 29, the Brock Campus Store will be supporting the cause by giving out free Bell Let’s Talk toques with any purchase, while supplies last. There will also be an information brochure included in each package outlining the SWAC services available to students. Additionally, 10 per cent of the net proceeds from the week will be donated to the Student Mental Health Fund.
Brock’s Recreation Services is encouraging employees to get active to encourage positive mental health. From Monday, Jan. 25 to Friday, Jan. 29, staff and faculty can participate in ExpressFit On Demand classes or ExpressFit Live Zoom classes. All classes can be enjoyed from the comfort of home and are free of charge.
Brock Badgers Sports will be offering a full week of mental health-inspired activities, including a virtual photo booth and contests. Full details on these events will be announced shortly.
If you are aware of any additional Bell Let’s Talk Day events taking place next week, please contact The Brock News at firstname.lastname@example.org