Learning to love life

Walk to promote mental wellness took place last Thursday
Brochures and pamphlets at mental health walked promoted wellness. (Heather Davidson)

Brochures and pamphlets at mental health walked promoted wellness. (Heather Davidson)

On Oct. 3, members of the Wilfrid Laurier University community gathered together in solidarity to participate in the second annual Love My Life: A Walk For Mental Health event.

“Mental health is something that is really hard for students to deal with,” said participant Kayley Diamond, a fourth-year communications student.
“We are under stress all of the time.”

The walk, a 12-hour event, was hosted by The Mental Health Education Group and took place in the Quad.

Diamond, along with other students and staff at the walk, are a part of The Laurier Mental Health Education Group.

The group seeks to raise awareness for mental health issues at Laurier and works to eradicate the stigma that often surrounds issues to do with mental wellness.

“We are hoping to have this walk get bigger and bigger each year,” said Dave Patterson, one of the student coordinators for The Laurier Mental Health Education Group.

Last year the walk was held later in the term but due to the cold weather they encountered, the walk was moved earlier in the year.

“We are really happy to have such beautiful weather today,” commented Patterson.

The day featured many different events, including student speakers, zumba and a luminary tribute walk. Throughout the day, students were invited to share their stories about what helps them “love their life,” despite the obstacles they may have faced with mental health and wellness.

“I found the transition into first-year to be difficult. I had a lot of anxiety issues,” explained fourth-year business student Cailey Rosenberg.

While in first-year, Rosenberg, like many others involved in the mental health walk, sought out resources available on campus that help students cope with mental health-related issues.

“Now I’m here, I’m fine and I’m really not stressing as much anymore,” Rosenberg continued. “And I get to help other students work through the same things I went through.”

Alongside the walk, Oct. 3 was also the launch of a new initiative called the Wellness Hub.

“The Wellness Hub is essentially the touch point at Laurier for everyone to send and share information around wellness,” explained Ashley Coleman, president of the Graduate Students’ Association.

Coleman, along with others involved in this new multi-campus initiative, noticed a gap at the university.

According to Coleman there needed to be one central place to share information and resources regarding  mental health and wellness.  The Wellness Hub was created in order to bridge this gap.

The Wellness Hub is essentially an online Facebook page that links many resources, organizations, clubs and events together within the Laurier community.  Events and information can also be emailed directly to the Wellness Hub and this information will be made public to the Facebook page.

“We are always looking for volunteers, there are so many great groups at Laurier and we want everyone to get on the same page and make information really accessible to students,” said Patterson.

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