Let’s Talk. York University is holding a York U Let’s Talk Mental Health day on Tuesday, Feb. 12 in conjunction with Bell Canada’s national campaign to foster dialogue and to help increase awareness, reduce stigma and create a mentally healthy campus for students, staff and faculty.
An information fair featuring on-campus resource groups and student clubs will be held on Feb. 12 in Vari Hall and the CIBC lobby from 10am to 3pm. In addition, a Community Dialogue event for students, faculty and staff will be held in the Tribute Community Recital Hall, Accolade East Building, from noon to 2pm. This live webcast event will allow for participation in person, as well as through tweets (#yumentalhealth) and at Yorku.ca/mentalhealth. The event is designed to encourage dialogue around mental health to help students succeed.
The Community Dialogue will include a video from Olympian and York honorary degree recipient Clara Hughes – Canadian cyclist and speed skater – directed to the York community. A panel of participants representing undergraduate and graduate students, staff, faculty and administration will also discuss their thoughts and recommendations on building a mentally healthy campus.
Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend and join the dialogue. The event will be webcast so that all members of the York community can be engaged in the discussion, either in person or at their desks in offices and libraries or any location with internet access.
Mental health is an issue that is often overlooked, but it is a very real concern for the York community. In a 2009, student health and wellness survey of six Ontario universities, some 64 per cent of York respondents reported finding academic work traumatic or very difficult to handle, citing stress, sleep difficulties, anxiety and depression as major factors impacting their academic performance. The same survey also found that 35 per cent of York’s long-term disability cases are due to a mental health condition.
The focus of York U Let’s Talk Mental Health is to foster open dialogue on mental health and wellness, to break down barriers and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. York is committed to the development of an integrated mental health strategy that will address the mental health needs of students, faculty and staff.