Bell Let’s Talk

Jan 30, 2019

Special Edition

At Western, we all have a role to play when it comes to mental health and wellness. We are students, we are staff, we are friends, we are teachers, we are teammates, we are all players on a team that believes in taking care of each other, and supporting a campus where Mustangs are thriving.

More than anything, we're hoping to hear your voice today. #BellLetsTalk is taking over Western social media for a live, all day ask-us-anything. We've pulled together experts and leaders from all over campus, put them in a room - you talk/tweet/instagram, they listen. It's that simple.

Raise your voice, have your say.

Campus leads #LetsTalk conversation

Western talked – and listened – in record numbers on social media during Bell Let’s Talk Day on Jan. 30. But the 2,600 tweets and retweets from a variety of university-affiliated accounts represented just a fraction of the deeper discussions that took place.

Bell Let's Talk

Hats and chats mark Bell Let’s Talk

Blue toques and speech bubbles on Wednesday, Jan. 30, will mark an important opportunity for conversation – a day dedicated to checking in on each other’s mental health.

Staff zumba class.

Faculty, staff wellbeing at heart of Western plan

While student mental health and wellness efforts have grabbed headlines in recent months, programs like Living Well @ Western showcase how the well-being of faculty and staff remains a priority for the university.

Middlesex College

Investment to expand mental-health supports

A new investment in student mental-health will enhance programming and add or secure as many as nine dedicated staffing positions thanks to a joint effort between Western and its student body.

Students on campus

Coping with student stress and distress

Western News has drawn in three leading experts for a conversation about what’s going on and why universities spend a growing share of time and budgets on student mental wellness.

Thames Hall Renovation Project: Rendering shows open, natural light, flexible space with round tables and overlooking balconies.

Thames Hall reno starts next month

The next major step towards consolidating student health and wellness services into Thames Hall is set to start next month with preliminary work that includes asbestos abatement and interior demolition.

Female basketball player on the court in Alumni Hall.

#BellLetsTalk Game Day in Alumni Hall

Free #BellLetsTalk toques for the first 200 through the door. Admission is FREE for students, and faculty & staff can claim free tickets online.

Bell Let's Talk messages posted in the UCC.

Share your story in the UCC

Western Education Centre student advocates will be hanging out with #BellLetsTalk swag and story posters all day in the UCC Atrium.

Voices Across Campus

#BellLetsTalk is about raising all of our voices to tackle stigma and raise awareness. The stories below were contributed by faculty, staff and students across campus.

Lauren Adam

Lauren Adam

The word suicide is very triggering to me, and I am sure anyone from my hometown could say the same. My heart drops when I get a text that says, “I love you…” at 2am or when I see that I have 3 missed calls from the same person.

Warning: This post contains sensitive content regarding the effects of suicide.

Brennah

Brennah D.L.

I strive to improve my mental health by consistently trying to improve my self-awareness. Knowing how you react to difference types of challenges can help you develop strategies in advance and be more prepared to tackle them when they come along.

Deepiksha Singh

Deepiksha Singh

I had to let go of this idea that I needed to be perfect for everyone and that somehow I had to fix everything, even the things that didn’t need any fixing.

Matthew Yip

Matthew Yip, Peer Support

I've loved seeing the growth of mental health discussions throughout every area of the university: the orientation program, our classes, and in the support systems around Western.

Brianna Davie

Brianna Davie

Year after year I contemplate the thought of sharing my experiences but have never gone through with it because the idea of sharing something so personal scares me.

Cory

Cory N.

There isn't a cookie-cutter solution for mental health and what works for one person may not work for another. I realize now what a difference it makes to know yourself and what works for you.

Andreea Bejan

Andreea Bejan, USC Secretary-Treasurer

I've learned that I need to confide in people I trust, to ask for help, and take a day off when I need it.

Becca Koessler

Becca Koessler

I felt like I was constantly surrounded by a stagnant cloud of negativity that I could not escape. I was stewing in my misery, and had convinced myself that I did not have the ability to change my circumstances.

Carole

Carole P.

I strive to improve my mental health in small ways every day, whether that be getting enough sleep, eating a treat that makes me happy, or taking the time to do the things I love.

Jennifer Hill

Jennifer Hill

Grounding and other strategies have really helped me but honestly, it’s not always easy in the moment to remember how to cope. This is why I also keep a self-care plan – so if I am feeling very anxious I have a list of things that I can do to calm down.

Mitch Pratt

Mitch Pratt, USC President

I find comfort in small successes; those expectations we can meet every day. This gives me strength if I do face failure, to discover how I can grow and learn from it.

Devon

Devon K.

Looking back, my first-year self would never have thought I would become who I am today. I hope that everyone learns to become comfortable with seeking help whenever they are struggling.

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Let’s stop blaming ourselves for stigmatizing mental health

Awareness campaigns can only go so far to stopping the stigmatization of mental health. Change occurs once we stop shaming ourselves and others for our bias. Read more with Western's Javeed Sukhera in The Conversation Canada.

Kasey Stanton

Research Profile:
Kasey Stanton

Our lab also examines personality traits (e.g., being perfectionistic, being impulsive) that put people at risk for a range of mental health issues.

Drs. Tara Mantler and Kim Jackson

Research Profile:
Tara Mantler and Kim Jackson

Our research focuses on improving women's mental and physical health/well-being at individual, community, and systems levels.

Abe Oudshoorn

Research Profile:
Abe Oudshoorn

My research focuses on transforming health and social systems to improve housing outcomes for vulnerable populations. I work through a health equity lens to create knowledge that informs policy.

Cheryl Forchuk

Research Profile:
Cheryl Forchuk

I aim to target key gaps in the understanding and care of mental illness including vulnerable periods of transition from hospital to community, as well as the potential for using smart technologies in mental health care.

It's your health. It's your wellness. We would like to help.