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On Jan. 31, and every day, let’s talk

The conversation around mental health on post-secondary campuses, including Queen’s, will take a big step forward in 2018.

Maintaining positive mental health is important in every season, and especially during the tough winter months. In recent years there has been an increasing amount of attention paid to this vital facet of wellbeing by schools, government, and business.

A signed Bell Let's Talk banner with the tagline "Keep the conversation going".
A signed Bell Let's Talk banner from 2017 with the tagline "Keep the conversation going". A similar banner will be available on Wednesday, Jan. 31. (Supplied Photo)

Bell Let’s Talk Day has become one of the most significant days of the year for Canadians to reflect on their own mental health and help break down the stigma around mental health challenges. This year’s campaign at Queen’s will build on last year’s national focus on student athletics and aim to further expand the conversation across campus.

“Bell Let’s Talk Day sparks conversations about the impact of mental illness, and how we can support one another,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean (Student Affairs). “Most importantly it is about breaking down the stigma about these issues and ensuring that those in need get the help they need every day of the year.”

The first Bell Let’s Talk events on campus will take place on Friday, Jan 26, at the varsity men and women’s basketball games against Laurentian University starting at 6 pm. Attendees are encouraged to wear the blue Bell Let’s Talk toques that were distributed last year. The games will also feature more toques, special in-game promotions and contests, peer health promotion volunteers, a banner for fans to sign, talk bubbles, thunder sticks, and temporary tattoos.

Student athletes pose in support of Bell Let's Talk Day
Student athletes pose in support of Bell Let's Talk Day. This year's Bell Let's Talk games will take place Friday, Jan 26. (Supplied Photo)

On Monday, Jan. 29, representatives from Queen’s will be in Toronto as Bell Canada announces an expansion of the company’s outreach to students.

Mental health at Queen’s

Attend the basketball games on Jan 26

● Stop by the booth in the ARC on Wed, Jan 31 – and tweet with #BellLetsTalk. Student athletes will be tweeting using #oneteamformentalhealth.

● Learn more about what Counselling Services is doing this semester to reach more students

"The student-athlete initiative clearly showed that mental health is a priority for students on Canadian campuses. This year, we're building on that momentum as we expand the conversation to 128 universities and colleges throughout the country," said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let's Talk. "On Jan. 31, we encourage all students around the country to join in, share their own stories and help fight the stigma around mental illness."

On Wednesday, Jan. 31, which is Bell Let’s Talk Day, you can expect to see a booth in the Athletics and Recreation Centre staffed by student volunteers – as the nationwide social media discussion around mental health engages millions of Canadians online through the hashtag #BellLetsTalk.

On Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell will donate towards mental health initiatives in Canada by contributing 5¢ for every applicable text, call, tweet, social media video view, and use of their Facebook frame or Snapchat filter. Visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk to find out more about the initiative and this year’s national campaign.