January 31 is Bell Let’s Talk Day – a day where people are encouraged to start having conversations around mental health.
Grade 8, 9, and 10 students at W.L. Seaton Secondary filed into the gym this morning for an assembly on mental health. Partnering with the Vernon & District Canadian Mental Health Association and SunFM, students learned:
Just over one year ago, Seaton alumni raised money for a Friendship Bench, in memory of a former Seaton student that struggled with mental illness. That bench sits just inside the main entrance of the building and encourages student-to-student conversations about mental health.
One in five Canadians will develop a mental illness; this is something that affects all Canadians. Mental health problems tend to begin during the adolescent years of 15 to 30, and that is why it was important for these students to hear about mental illness and get the conversations started.
As the assembly students walked out, some with their arms around one another, others stopping to fill out a Bell Let’s Talk Bubble and share their ideas on how to reduce stigma around mental health. If nothing else, conversations were started today, and that’s a good thing.