Healthy Minds Team reflects on a busy year

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The Healthy Minds team has been busy so far this year bringing students a variety of first semester favorites. The team aims to continue spreading a message of mental health awareness, stigma reduction, and wellbeing on campus.

In both September and October, therapy dogs visited campus to help reduce stress. More amazing therapy pets will return next semester.HMT Website

For the third consecutive year, the Healthy Minds team encouraged visible mental health awareness and support through the Green Ribbon Campaign. Team members distributed over five hundred green ribbons across campus, encouraging students to display them on backpacks or coats as a sign of solidarity, that mental illness is not an experience one must go through alone. In the following week, team members watched for students wearing their green ribbons, and passed out ballots for a prize giveaway.

Also aiming to spread awareness, the Lead the Pack campaign returned this year to feature the inspiring stories of more real SMU students who have displayed incredible strength in the face of mental illness. Stay tuned and be sure to follow SMU Healthy Minds on Facebook and Instagram, as this social media campaign will continue throughout the academic year! Healthy Minds team members also visited Halifax West High School in November to give a presentation on mental health, wellbeing, and transitioning from high school to university life. This provided the team with an incredible opportunity to encourage and support the wellbeing of youth and future students as well as current SMU students.

Knowing well the value of supportive friendships, making new friends, and having fun, the Healthy Minds Team also offered a Speed Friending event again this year. Students had an opportunity to meet and chat with new people in a friendly, funny, and safe space within the Gorsebrook Lounge. Better When You’re Laughing week also returned this year to spread a spirit of positivity across campus through a series of awesome events. To begin the week, the Healthy Minds team welcomed Jim Dalling, a local leadership coach, Gestalt Nova Scotia counsellor, and ex-performer for a fantastic talk on “Riding the Waves of Change”, transitions, and the university experience. On November 9th, two more great events rounded out the week, with an improv workshop hosted by Adrianne Gagnon of Mission Critical Comedy, offered in partnership with SMU Peer Support’s Art for the Soul initiative. Later that evening, Mission Critical Comedy graced the stage of the Gorsebrook for a hilarious improv comedy show.

Also in November, the Healthy Minds Team brought the Semicolon Project back to SMU, seeking to encourage mental health awareness with a focus on suicide prevention. East Coast Airbrush visited campus to offer airbrush tattoos with a theme of strength, healing, and solidarity.

The Healthy Minds Team wishes students the best with their exams and final projects as the end of the semester approaches. The team looks forward to offering students even more great events after the holidays, and can’t wait for an exciting second semester!

Tessa O’Donnell, Healthy Minds Team Assistant 

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