On Jan. 28, Canadians watched and shared videos, and sent texts over Bell’s network to raise money for mental health initiatives. Like every year, TRU hosted Bell Let’s Talk with a virtual twist to keep the TRU community healthy
The aim of Bell Let’s Talk is to engage in dialogue about mental health, with the goal of reducing the stigma surrounding the topic. Bell reports that since 2011, 83% of Canadians believe attitudes about mental illness have changed for the better.
Bell often partners with TRU Wellness physically on campus for Bell Let’s Talk, providing students with s’mores, hot drinks, and information about mental health and wellness. Because campus remains mostly shut down due to COVID-19, TRU’s Wellness Centre hosted a virtual Let’s Talk.
Chelsea Corsi, the Senior Wellness Coordinator for TRU Wellness, was really happy with the involvement of the digital Let’s Talk.
“We encouraged students to grab a warm drink, wear a toque, and join us for a similar conversation that we would have had in person,” she said.
The events, taking place online, aimed to provide a space to talk about mental health, as well as give students the chance to have fun and destress.
Therapy Dog Thursdays made a return as pups were streamed into the virtual rooms for students to interact with. There was also an hour-long gentle yoga class.
“At the Wellness Centre, we like to do things big and bold,” Corsi stated. “We started events in the week leading up to Let’s Talk day to get the word out and start things early. We did an Instagram takeover, began registration for a program called Y-mind that we’ve partnered with the YMCA for, and started Wellness in your house, a virtual wellness class every Wednesday.”
The day’s events drew hundreds of students to their virtual discussions and Instagram takeovers. Along with those events, the popular Therapy Dog Thursday’s relaunched for the semester, and attendees had a discussion about the importance of their pets and mental health while watching a stream of the dogs playing.
Therapy Dog Thursday’s will be available every Thursday for the rest of the semester from 11:00-11:30 a.m.
Corsi made note that all students now have access to Microsoft Teams, and encouraged them to sign up and join the TRU Wellness channel, where weekly events will be hosted for the rest of the semester.
TRU Wellness is also launching a live chat on Mondays where students can talk to their peers in the wellness department and have support finding resources to help them.
“Mental health is really important in order to be successful at university, and our goal in wellness and in student development is to support students the best we can,” Corsi said. “Bell Lets Talk gives us the platform to increase people’s literacy, reduce stigma and provide resources and support so that the campus knows where to go when they need help.”
For more resources on health, students can visit TRU.ca/wellness for a complete list of resources relating to mental and physical health.