It is estimated that 20 per cent of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness at some point in their lifetime. One Brock group is promoting a movement that may help reduce those numbers at a local level.
To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) is a North American non-profit organization and movement based out of Melbourne, Florida whose sole goal is “presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide.” The movement began in 2006, when founder Jamie Tworkowski wrote a story about a friend he had met named Renee Yohe. Yohe had been struggling with depression, anxiety, self harm, drug addiction and suicidal thoughts. Tworkowski documented the five days he spent with Yohe before she entered a treatment centre, even raising money to help cover the cost of her rehabilitation and treatment. Tworkowski published the story on MySpace (and it was subsequently shared worldwide on several websites) to ensure Yohe’s story served as a reminder of hope for those struggling with the same issues for years to come.
As of 2016, TWLOHA has responded to over 180,000 messages from people sharing their stories and providing feedback and thanks for their organization and has traveled over 3 million miles and counting to communities worldwide to promote their movement. TWLOHA has also spread to college and university campuses, with TWLOHA UChapters (the name for their post-secondary campaign) at over 100 active locations worldwide.
Brock’s chapter of To Write Love On Her Arms has been active since 2012, hosting events on campus to help raise awareness for the cause and promote healthy, proactive self-care for mental illness among students. The club hosts a weekly meeting to discuss topics related to mental health and plan events and campaigns for use on campus in order to get more Badgers talking about self care and reducing the stigma.
Events held this year by the club, aside from their weekly meetings on Monday nights in Plaza, have included memory jars and promoting volunteerism in and around campus.
For more information about the Brock UChapter of To Write Love On Her Arms, please visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BrockTWLOHA or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the organization, please visit twloha.com. If you or someone you know are currently struggling with mental health, you are not alone. There is always support right here on campus.