– Chances are you have been affected somehow by mental health concerns, whether it’s yourself, a family member or a friend.
Many challenges arise when these issues are identified: What can I do to help? Who do I tell? Should I ignore it? This is where the annual Bell Let’s Talk Day, taking place Wednesday, January 29, comes into play.
College of the North Atlantic (CNA) and its provincial health and wellness committee are once again participating in this one-day event that promotes awareness for mental health and wellness and strives to remove the stigma associated with it.
Employees and students are encouraged to participate as much as possible in the numerous activities being planned throughout CNA campuses province-wide, or simply by viewing the CNA Facebook Live
discussion beginning at noon.
Among some of the interactive and creative activities occurring at various campuses are:
- Mental health coffee breaks on campus or via an Internet café where students can use social media to create positive change;
- Information sessions with local health authorities and/or mental health associations, such as CHANNAL Peer Support Centre or the Canadian Mental Health Association;
- Speech balloons, where students can write inspirational messages about what they do to promote healthy living for mental health;
- Encouraging staff and students to text/tweet/call/post during breaks;
- Sharing healthy coping messages;
- Yoga sessions; and, many more throughout the day.
Deidre Dunne, CNA’s Director of Human Resources, says the college wants to reinforce the idea that mental health and wellness (physical and emotional) are as important in the workplace as they are in employees’ personal lives.
“We are focusing on employee health and wellness through a number of different initiatives,” Dunne noted. “We see many benefits to do so since an employee’s wellness can impact them not only in the work environment, but also in their personal lives and create a positive impact for them and those around them.”
CNA’s students can also benefit from mental health discussions and initiatives, as the pressures from their academic lives can take a toll after a while. Karen Antle, CNA’s Director of Student Success, says doing even the smallest of things can have a significant impact and create a positive change – not only for students themselves, but for someone they may know with mental health challenges.
“We are asking as many students as possible to participate throughout the day,” she added. “This time is about starting the conversation and continuing it throughout the year. As the Bell Let’s Talk campaign states, ‘It’s okay to not be okay.’ This is a great opportunity for anyone who needs support, or can provide support, to come forward and make a difference. Every small action can have an impact so we are encouraging students to make their actions count!”
To learn more about the activities at the campuses, visit: https://www.cna.nl.ca/events/
For more information about Bell Let’s Talk, visit: https://letstalk.bell.ca/en/
College of the North Atlantic