Mental health awareness alive and well for Brock’s first ever Thrive Week

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Thrive Week, an initiative first started at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2009, is a week of events that promote positive mental health. For the first time ever, Brock will be having it’s very own Thrive Week from January 29 through February 2.

The Student Wellness Centre, along BUSU and Student Life Services have teamed up to put on more than 20 events throughout the week. These events range from workshops to activities surrounding mental health.

“Thrive Week started at UBC: clubs and departments come together and create events revolving around wellness and thriving, so we’ve reached out to as many places as we could on campus, they are helping us with promoting it,” said Stephanie McKinnon, who works at the Brock Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre.

“Thrive is a mindset, it means to prosper and flourish, and at Brock we want our community to thrive,” McKinnon said.

“We have a lot … puppy room and massages, mindfulness workshops, art workshops and relaxation settings, we have events for graduate students like coffee breaks, workshops surrounding mental health, we have some workshops for TAs as well surrounding mental health and noticing signs of someone who may be dealing with that”

The biggest event of Thrive Week (Speak Out Night) happens to fall on Bell Lets Talk day. According to the Bell Lets Talk website, every one in five Canadians will suffer from a mental illness at some point in their life.

The Speak Out Night is an event where Brock students and faculty share their stories and experiences coping with their own mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, and so much more.

“We want a variety of different stories and mental illnesses, so that everyone gets something out of it,” McKinnon said.

This year, McKinnon says that they have had a lot of students who have reached out wanting to share their story.

“It’s surprising because normally it’s hard to find people who want to speak, but we’ve had a lot [this year].”

Prior to Thrive Week, at the men’s hockey game this Thursday, Student Wellness and Accessibility will be passing along the ‘conversation plate’ to BUSU.

“We’re passing on the conversation plate, the Paul Hansell Foudnation, they have created conversation plates that you pass on to keep the conversation going about mental health,” McKinnon said.

The Paul Hansell Foundation began after a former Brock University student committed suicide in December of 2010. Brock is also hosting an event where students will get to paint conversation plates (Painting #ConvoPlates) which will happen at the SkyBar Lounge from 5-6pm, just before the Speak Out Night.

Throughout Thrive Week, all students are encouraged to get involved in the events, and to keep the conversation going about mental health. Ending the stigma around mental health starts with each individual. If you have a friend, roommate, or coworker, ask them how they are doing and listen to what they are saying.

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