The third Monday of January is what people often refer to as “Blue Monday”, the statistically-evaluated saddest day of the year, arising from various factors such as people failing to maintain their New Year’s resolutions, as well as falling victim to seasonal affective disorder.
As a way to combat the mid-winter blues, the Student Justice Centre (SJC) organized a benefit concert with the hopes of eradicating the stigma associated with mental health, while simultaneously bringing a smile to the audience’s faces.
This benefit concert took place at Isaac’s Bar and Grill on Jan. 28, opened by the acoustic stylings of a musical artist who simply went by the name Katie, while headlined by REVERSE, a high energy band from the Niagara region, whose four-part harmonies, popular cover songs and choreographed dance moves kept everyone on their feet and excited. During the intermission, members of the SJC shared statistics and facts about mental health issues in Canada in effort to raise awareness. The event was free to attend, with the band also playing for free in support of the cause.
“REVERSE are really into having their fans act and appreciate themselves, which is fantastic,” says Princess Marfil, fourth-year Psychology student and President of ActiveMinds BrockU. “The fact that they were willing to put on a show and charge nothing at the door is simply amazing.”
The benefit concert conveniently fell on #BellLetsTalk Day, a national initiative also dedicated to raising money and awareness for mental health in Canada.
According to Bell’s website, “for every text message, wireless and long distance call made by Bell Canada and Bell Aliant customers, every tweet using the #BellLetsTalk hashtag and Facebook share of the Bell Let’s Talk Day image, Bell will donate 5 cents more to Canadian mental health programs”.
By the end of the day, Bell had raised a total of $5,472,585.90 to fund programs for Canadian mental health, raising their grand total from previous Let’s Talk Days to $67.5 million.
The SJC is one of many groups and organizations on campus that promotes a healthy mental and physical lifestyle, providing resources to achieve positivity. Programs such as Safe Space, where students can talk to professionals, and November’s Wellness Week initiative, were created in order to help students with mental healthrelated issues that they may be struggling with.
“Nobody likes to talk about it, and we just wanted to raise awareness for mental health,” said Marfil. “I want the students to care about the events and programs that we offer at the SJC. I want them to know how dedicated we all are and that we’re very serious about shattering the stigma attached to mental health related issues.”
Stay up-to-date with their news on Twitter and Facebook at ActiveMindsAtBrockU, as well as the Student Justice Centre at BrockSJC.