October 23, 2021

BY DEEANNA ROLLINS

Conestoga Students Inc. (CSI) is about to start a new campaign called Different Story; Same Page, and they’re looking for faculty, staff and student leaders to tell their stories about mental health.
This campaign came about in light of Bell Let’s Talk Day (Jan. 25), which raised just over $6.5 million thanks to over 131 million interactions online. Bell donated five cents for every text, call and social media interaction to mental health initiatives, such as McGill University’s Neurological Institute and St. John Ambulance.

Raising money by sharing things on Facebook and Twitter is not all that can be done for mental health.

“We (CSI) just think that it’s so important to address mental health concerns on campus,” said Cameron Jones, CSI president.

And that is exactly what the Different Story; Same Page campaign is going to do.

“The campaign will focus around one- to two-minute videos featuring staff, faculty members and students of Conestoga College sharing their mental health story,” Jones said in an email.
These videos will all end with a list of resources that people with mental health issues can use both on campus and regionally.

“The stress of being a student is prevalent all year-long. We want to make sure that, at all times throughout the year, people feel like they are being heard and represented, and to tell them that they’re not alone,” said Jones.

CSI is aiming to have the video series finished by the time exams roll around in April.

“Hopefully it will help with exam relief and other stressful things around that time of year,” he said.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, 20 per cent of Canadians will personally experience some sort of mental illness in their lifetime, and almost half of those people will not see a doctor or a therapist.

“These times in our lives while we’re at school can be extremely difficult,” said Jones. “People need to remember that there are resources out there to help them get through whatever they’re going through.”

If you or anyone you know is experiencing what you think may be a mental illness, do not hesitate to contact Counselling Services or Good2Talk at 1-866-925-5454.
If you would like to tell your story as part of CSI’s video series, email csibod@conestogac.on.ca or call 519-748-5220, ext. 3595.

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