STUSU brings mental health to the forefront

    St. Thomas University Students’ Union is rolling out its annual Mental Health Awareness Week early this year, running next week, Oct. 6 to 10.mentalhealthtravis

    VP of Student Life Rebecca Ferris organized the week of events and hopes students will be more willing to ask for help or take time to take care of themselves before course workloads grow around midterm season.

    “How they feel about their stress, and their feelings in general, I hope they take from this that it’s normal,” Ferris said. “And I hope they know that STU cares. I’m working with staff and faculty… and there definitely is support for students here. I hope they know that.”

    Professional public speaker and STU alumnus Mark Henick, who has appeared at high profile events like Ted Talks Toronto, will speak about mental health at the Kinsella Auditorium, Friday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m.

    On Thursday, a self-care day will be put on, featuring a free morning yoga session from Moksha Yoga, a mindfulness event led by Andrew Titus at noon in the Agape room, and finishing with a free massage session with Massage Addicts in the Holy Cross Conference Room.

    The focus remains on breaking the stigmatization of mental health. Already this year, STUSU collaborated on a poster campaign with the UNB Students’ Union that tells students to not be defined by their mental health.

    There will also be a movie night, a UNB/STU panel discussion with participants from each school, and a “Stress Circus” stress-relief fair Wednesday at the Student Union Building from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    STUSU Welcome Week Chair Travis Aten got involved with the poster project even though he doesn’t believe he has any mental illness. One of the posters features his image and a series of dictionary style definitions.

    “The way I see the campaign is that nobody is perfect,” he said. “Everyone has things they have to deal with but it doesn’t effect them as a person, it is just who they are. Since I was the Welcome Week chair and grad class president I believe it would be a good idea to show everyone that I’m not perfect, but, whatever, because I’m fine with it.”