Western’s Alumni Hall will glow green this week, part of the Canadian Mental Health Association’s initiative to Shine Green for Mental Health Week.
While other universities, including McMaster, Toronto and Lakehead, are also taking part, Western is the only organization in London participating. Students, staff and faculty are also encouraged to wear green Wednesday in support of keeping the conversation going around mental health.
“It’s great to see more people feel more comfortable speaking about mental health,” said Melanie-Anne Atkins, Wellness Coordinator at the Wellness Education Centre. “When we continue to talk about the fact each of us needs to practice good mental habits every day, these conversations shatter the taboo because we begin to recognize, with our words and actions, having good mental health is a lifelong journey that each of us takes.”
Atkins said we can also keep the conversation going by keeping ourselves educated about mental health and mental illness, also known as mental-health literacy. Of course, this involves knowing what mental health and mental illness are and involves taking steps to decrease stigma associated with reaching out for support when our tried-and-true strategies just aren’t working anymore.
“The Wellness Education Centre plays a role in this by taking a personalized peer-to-peer approach to educating students about the resources available to them on and off campus,” she said. “As Wellness Coordinator, I am also happy work with Western staff and faculty members who want to learn how to better support the mental health of their students. Wellness is a skill; practice it daily.”
For more information on activities and events taking place on campus during the week, you can visit the Western Student Experience website.