Fleming College supports #BellLetsTalk Day

c3chun9xaaeplygFleming College joined the national conversation about mental health on Bell Let’s Talk Day. The college hosted events at the Sutherland and Frost campuses on Wednesday, Jan. 25, and announced two initiatives to support mental health.

Bell Let’s Talk Day aims to increase awareness, reduce stigma, and change attitudes about mental health issues. For every Bell text, mobile and long-distance call, #BellLetsTalk tweet and Instagram post, use of the Bell Let’s Talk geofilter on Snapchat, and view of the Bell Let’s Talk video on Facebook, Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives.

Fleming College students and staff were encouraged to talk, text and tweet in c3cdnz0xeaaxdrssupport of mental health. At Frost Campus, the Mental Health Initiative team hosted events in the Discovery Trail, including a photo booth, therapy dogs, spin bikes, information on counselling and mental health resources, and more. At Sutherland Campus, the Mental Health Initiative team and Student Administrative Council hosted musical performances by Sarah Fazackerley and Brandon Primeau, exercise bikes, a craft table, and information and resources on mental health supports.

“One in five Canadians will experience a mental health issue in their lifetime,” said faculty member Angela Pind, one of the event organizers. “To not talk about it pushes it underground.”

Talking about mental health is one of the five ways you can help, according to Dr. Heather Stuart, the Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-stigma Research Chair at Queen’s University. The Bell Let’s Talk website recommends breaking the silence, writing, “Stories of people who have experienced mental health issues and who are doing well can really challenge stereotypes. Most people with mental health issues can and do recover, just by talking about it.”

benchTo support dialogue around mental health, Fleming College unveiled two benches – one for Sutherland Campus, one for Frost Campus – for people to gather together or enjoy alone time reflecting. The benches were built by Carpentry Apprentice students Brad Morey and Mike Payne, with materials donated by Chemong Home Hardware. Dean Sandra Dupret, who helped unveil the benches, said the project was “enthusiastically embraced” by Carpentry program coordinator Scott Fleming.

The benches help illustrate Fleming’s commitment to developing, supporting and maintaining an environment for positive mental health.

Fleming College also announced details about an upcoming fundraiser in support of the Canadian Mental Health Association Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge (CMHA KPR). The First Responders Cup will take place on Saturday, March 11 at the Peterborough Sport and Wellness Centre.

group“CMHA KPR has deep roots at Fleming. Many First Responders are Fleming grads, I’m a Fleming grad,” said Kerri Davies (RNA Class of ’92), Manager of Development at CMHA KPR. “You students will support people during difficult times. When we’re running out of the house, you’re running in.”

Davies hopes the First Responders Cup will help contribute to the discussion around mental health. “We hope through the First Responders Cup it will create dialogue about mental health,” she said. “Language matters. The words you use to talk about mental health matters.”

The First Responders Cup is an eight-hour challenge involving eight teams of six people each. The teams will rotate through eight fitness circuits – one per hour – throughout the day. The team with the fastest cumulative time over all eight circuits will win the cup. Faculty member Jodi van Engen (GHS Class of ’08) , along with students in the Police Foundations and Pre-Service Firefighter programs, are organizing the event. The cost is $300 per team with all funds going to CMHA HKPR. Click here for more information or to register.