BY MICHELLE MAISONVILLE
It can be hard to find time to relax with constant assignments, tests and projects that need to be done for school but Conestoga Student Inc. has started a new event aimed at focusing on student wellness.
Jeff Scherer, CSI president, said in previous years CSI held The Yellow Umbrella Project as their mental health awareness campaign but this year the board of directors decided they needed a new campaign.
“Our board felt that it was something we wanted to focus on for longer than just a week,” said Scherer.
That’s how the idea of Mellow Mondays came to be.
“The goal of Mellow Mondays is each week to focus on a different type of student wellness and promote activities for things that they can do to promote better wellness,” he said.
“A lot of students deal with stress in different ways so as a student association we like to just give them opportunities for other things they can do to deal with stress.”
Some of the past Mellow Monday events have included outdoor games, walks, massages and yoga, however they haven’t all been successful.
“We’ve had hits and misses,” he said, adding that they didn’t get a big turnout when they held the guided outdoor walks but other events, like the palm and aura reading, were successful.
“Unfortunately you can’t predict that an event’s not going to be successful … we can’t go back and change it to something else,” Scherer said.
“Some things weren’t successful so we kind of just look at those and say, ‘Well we just won’t do those again, what else can we do in their place,’ and the ones that were successful, how can we make them better.”
Josh Dunsmore, a first-year protection/security investigation student, thought the activities were a good idea and provided something that the college doesn’t have already.
“There’s not much at the college to actually wind down and relax,” Dunsmore said.
However, he thought having it on another day might work a bit better.
“I think it’d be better in the middle of the week because on Monday everybody’s just had the weekend,” he said.
“Having it in the middle of the week would be perfect.”
Lynn Robbins White, a Conestoga College counsellor, thought it was a positive event for students.
“I think any opportunity to engage students, breaking down the stigma of mental health, any kind of activity that is promoting wellness can’t be a bad thing,” she said.
Robbins White said it can also be good because students can go to events like these that are supporting mental health and maybe learn about the other resources that are available on campus.
“(Students may think) if students are promoting this, your government’s supporting it, it’s an activity, maybe there’s something else that I can get for the wellness of my mental health,” she said.
Having it on Mondays could be a good thing, she said, because sometimes over the weekend students get disconnected from their friends or something bad could happen that students may need to get away from.
Some upcoming activities for Mellow Mondays include palm and aura readings, Lego and Connectix, mediation, a drum circle and crossword and sudoku puzzles. Students can find exact dates on when these events are being held on CSI’s website, www.conestogastudents.com, or on posters hung around the school.
CSI is already looking ahead and planning Mellow Mondays for next semester.