Mental health will be the topic of discussion and focus of events over the next four days at Brandon University.
While it’s geared toward students, Mental Health Awareness Week is open to the public.
“It’s not just a student issue, it’s not just a BU issue, it’s a community issue,” said Carissa Taylor, Brandon University Students’ Union president. “We’re obviously focusing on BU because that’s where we are, but we want to get the community involved as well.”
The week kicks off today with displays and information booths in the mingling area, focusing on signs and symptoms of depression.
Wednesday is laughter and humour day, with comedian Big Daddy Tazz taking the stage in the Lorne Watson Recital Hall for two free shows. The BU community is invited to the 12:40 p.m. show, while the public is invited to the 7:30 p.m. show.
Wednesday will also include laughter yoga, funny videos and free popcorn and tea in the mingling area.
Thursday’s theme is health and fitness. There will be healthy eating displays in the mingling area, along with free healthy foods.
Friday is all about stress and coping. Craft stations will be in the mingling area, as well as small animals for students to pet. There will be alternative health care demonstrations, including massage, reiki and meditation.
Taylor said they hope this week will unite the campus, raise awareness and reduce stigma surrounding mental health issues.
“I don’t know if it’s affecting more students now, or if students are just more willing to talk about it, but it’s a huge problem across Canada,” she said. “It’s not just a student problem, it’s also a faculty/staff problem and it affects the entire university community … so we thought that it was important to have this be the starting point where we start tackling some of these issues.”