By Kayla Perry, Editor-in-Chief
March 22 marked the official launch of Laurentian University’s Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW), which will take place across campus from March 22-27.
Mental health awareness week is hosted at Laurentian Univeristy once each term, typically in the weeks leading up to the exam periods. This semester’s MHAW included free massages in the student centre, free yoga sessions, movie nights, suicide awareness talks, and an open mic music night, among many other events.
For the first time, the week’s launch took place in the East Residence ‘puppy room’: the room where PetSave puppies who are up for adoption are brought for students’ enjoyment.
Chloe Mirfield, Director of Membership Services for the Students’ General Association (SGA), stated that the launch was held in the puppy room this year because the puppy room is typically the most “popular” room during MHAW, and it was a “perfect chance to engage students.”
Laurentian University Vice-President Robert Kerr was among those who spoke at the opening ceremony, and stated the importance of mental health awareness year-round.
“After 30 years plus of being at the University, I think this is an issue that has been the least spoken about… There are many little things that can be done to deal with stress, and (this week) is just the start. We need to try and make sure there is support (right through the year) rather than just in this week,” said Kerr.
Mirfield noted that although resources are particularly abundant during MHAW, students have access to resources year-round, through the Accessibility student services on the second floor of the R.D. Parker building (which are open to all LU students), counselling and health services located on Student Street (the tunnel which connects all LUL Residence buildings on campus), through V-Desk staff members, who are trained in Safe Talk, or through the Lifeworks.com student helpline, accessible at 1-877-418-1537.
For more information on student support and resources, visit https://laurentian.morefeetontheground.ca/resources.