UNB’s student Mental Health Association kicks off their fundraising for the year with an event at Goji’s on Oct. 30, hoping to promote conversation around mental health and collect money for the Canadian Mental Health Association.
UNB’s Mental Health Association invited people to visit Goji’s the night of Wednesday, Oct. 30, for a frozen yoghurt treat in support of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), with 20 percent of sales from the event going toward the cause.
The Mental Health Association co-presidents, Cormac Stewart and Kate Metcalfe, both Renaissance College students, said the turnout to the event was better than expected and remained consistent throughout the night.
UNB’s Mental Health Association is a student club aimed at facilitating conversation and growth regarding mental health with UNB students. They also hold a number of fundraisers throughout the year, resulting in a large donation to the Canadian Mental Health Association.
“[We are] focused on raising awareness and creating discussion regarding mental health related issues on campus,” states the group’s official Facebook page.
When asked why they each decided to join the UNB Mental Health Association, Stewart and Metcalfe said they have both dealt with mental health issues in the past.
“Part of the reason I struggled so much was because I didn’t reach out for help, and I felt like I would have been judged. I wanted to join MHA because I think it’s really important to know that it’s okay to not be okay, and it’s okay to reach out, and it’s okay to need support,” Metcalfe said.
She added that UNB has a very unique opportunity to encourage this idea of reaching out for support and accessing help, as university students are often going through transition periods and experience high stress levels.
Stewart discussed the importance of having conversations around mental health, especially on campus.
“It’s something that touches everybody, but it’s not talked about enough. Getting involved for me was a way to start to get that conversation and continue getting it going on the UNB campus,” he explained. “Your mind needs a checkup, just like your body does.”
The groups holds open meetings once a month, where students are invited to give feedback and suggestions, as well as participate in activities such as board games, workshops on coping mechanisms and other de-stressing activities.
The next open meeting will be happening Nov. 19, during which Stewart and Metcalfe hope to discuss their work with UNB Counselling Services. The co-presidents explained that they have been pursuing collaboration with Counselling Services about a video project regarding students and mental health.
They are also planning a sticker campaign which they hope to launch this month. There are five different designs being sold, with messages of positivity and mental health awareness. Stickers will be two dollars each, and the money fundraised will go towards the club’s donation to the Canadian Mental Health Association.
You can find more information about the UNB Mental Health Association at their facebook page ‘UNB Mental Health Association’ and their Instagram page ‘unb_mha’.