Mental Health Awareness Campaign Starts Conversations

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SUCCI's Director of Student Wellness & Diversity, Kemba Drakes, adds her thoughts to the mental health conversation.
SUCCI's Director of Student Wellness & Diversity, Kemba Drakes, adds her thoughts to the mental health conversation.

SUCCI's Director of Student Wellness & Diversity, Kemba Drakes, adds her thoughts to the mental health conversation.
SUCCI’s Director of Student Wellness & Diversity, Kemba Drakes, adds her thoughts to the mental health conversation.

THUNDER BAY – The Student Union of Confederation College Inc. (SUCCI) and the College Student Alliance (CSA) joined together to present the Yellow Umbrella Project. The goal of the mental health awareness campaign is to stop the stigma associated with mental health and start conversations about mental health on campus.

Yellow walls were set up throughout the week for students to anonymously share their thoughts about mental health including what causes them stress, how they cope with stress, what makes them happy and what mental health means to them.

Students responded en masse to the edgy campaign, leaving very little yellow left on walls full of comments and reflection. Through their participation in the campaign, they also had opportunity to learn more about the many support services already in place on campus, including counselling, information, guidance and support to name a few.

In addition to delivering information about mental health, community services and support services on campus, and a colourful platform for conversation, the week brought sessions hosted by campus counsellors and SUCCI representatives who discussed The Keys to Optimizing Your Mental Health & Well Being and Let’s Talk About…Mental Health.

The campaign uses the colour yellow as it is uplifting and illuminating, offering hope, happiness, cheerfulness and fun. Derived from colour theory, it also shares association with communication, networking and understanding both sides of a situation before making a decision. The umbrella symbolizes shelter which is connected to sheltering students from the stigma that surrounds mental health.

The mental health conversation does not end with the close of the campaign. Mental health support, programs and initiatives will continue to be offered on campus. For more information about the Yellow Umbrella Project, please visit www.collegestudentalliance.ca/resources/yup.

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