TRU Wellness Centre partnered with the North American non-profit, Art with Impact, to offer Movies for Mental Health to TRU students for the fourth time in TRU history on Nov. 18.
Movies for Mental Health uses short films to encourage dialogue about mental health. The non-profit’s goal is to reduce the stigma around mental health and improve literacy concerning it.
The event was virtually hosted on Big Blue Button on Nov. 18. The Wellness Centre’s Senior Coordinator, Chelsea Corsi, stated that near two dozen students attended the virtual event.
Cosi said that because it was the Wellness Centre’s first time hosting the event virtually, “it was kind of like hosting it for the first time.”
Corsi said it was important to connect mental health and substance use at the fourth showing of Movies for Mental Health at TRU.
“Right now, with COVID[-19], it’s a global health emergency, and it is really affecting people’s mental health. However, in BC, we are also facing a provincial health emergency with unintentional deaths due to illicit drug overdoses. So we really wanted to kind of connect the two,” said Corsi.
Corsi stated that the whole premise behind Art with Impact “is to use art and films as a vehicle to discuss mental health, mental wellness, and the stigma sort of attached to those elements of people’s lives.”
Cosi explained that the non-profit runs what they call an “All of Film” contest each month in which filmmakers can submit short films under five minutes that highlight some aspect of mental health.
“Each month, they choose a winner. Those winners’ films are then added to Art with Impact’s ‘All of Film Collection.’ The Non-profit then pulls different films from that collection to show at each event,” said Corsi.
Those in attendance viewed three short films centred around mental health and substance use. After each film, attendees were able to discuss the topics involved with each other and the professionals available to them.
Corsi added that the non-profit led “a great body scan and breathwork exercise in order to give people the tools and skills needed to cope when feeling overwhelmed.”
At the end of the event, the Wellness Centre even opened up a panel discussion. Corsi said, “one of [the Wellness Centre’s] student wellness ambassadors shared her story of recovery. Then, some other individuals such as [herself], an on-campus counsellor, and someone from Kamloops Mental Health and Substance Use [spoke] about the services provided on campus and in the community for the people that need them.”
Corsi added that “the people who attended were super engaged and seemed to be very thankful. One other student wellness ambassador who just attended the event for her own wellbeing said that it was exactly what she needed, that it was very well done, and she was so glad that she spent the time to come.”
Corsi explained that “because so many people are feeling isolated right now, creating opportunities for connection is one of the best things we can do for our mental health. At the Wellness Centre, We’re doing what we can to encourage people to connect.”
She added that because we are missing out on face-to-face interaction in our daily lives right now, just simply logging on to visit with the therapy dogs for or attend one of the Wellness Centre’s virtually Tea Times “can really help. Sometimes, just doing something where you see people’s faces and can connect can make a huge difference in our attitudes. ”
Corsi encouraged students to check out the Wellness Centre’s social media, specifically Instagram, for updates concerning anything. Keep an eye out for updates concerning TRU Wellness Centre’s mental health month coming up in January if looking for ways to connect from home.