By: Sierra DiMarco, First year Brand Manager Intern

Mental health awareness is an important topic on our campus. Starting the conversation on mental health is one of the core ways to end ignorance, and to promote education and awareness.

This coming Wednesday January 31st is Bell Let’s Talk Day. The purpose of this day is to promote mental health awareness, and to show love and support to anyone who is impacted by mental health. The goal of the campaign is to start a conversation, to educate and to support, all with the hope to one day end the stigma surrounding mental illness. It is important to encourage this awareness on university campuses, as the stress of university life at times can feel overwhelming. But its important for students to know that they are not alone, and that there are many dedicated individuals and resources on campus that are here to support you! Valuable educational resources like the Tool Kit and Conversation guide, are accessible on the Bell Let’s Talk website. These tools will teach you how to support someone coping with mental illness, as well as how to help someone get help if needed.

Bell Let’s Talk is not only committed to starting a conversation, but is also raising money for mental health initiatives. Any time you watch the Bell Let’s Talk video on Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat, or tweet with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk, 5¢ will be donated to mental health initiatives.

The Queen’s community is passionate about mental health awareness, and has dedicated itself to providing accessible resources on campus for anyone effected by mental health. One of the various resources is the Peer Support Center. Operating under the AMS, the Peer Support Center provides students with a safe space for students to receive support, and is completely confidential. The PSC offices are located in the lower ceilidh of the JDUC. The Student Wellness Center is another great resource on campus students can use if they are seeking support, or if they are in need of a safe place. Services such as counselling and crisis support for immediate needs is just one of the many resources offered by the Student Wellness Centre. Here you can also book ongoing appointments with a mental health nurse who is trained to provide support in this field. These are only two of the many resources on campus committed to providing support and starting a conversation about mental health.

So, this Wednesday visit the Bell Let’s Talk booths in the ARC, or visit their website to see the countless ways in which you can help. Remember every action has an impact, and any contribution is appreciated. I challenge every student to join the conversation this Wednesday, and to do your part to end the stigma of mental health. Let’s talk today and everyday!