York U Let’s talk day focuses on mental health and wellness

students sitting and talking in the Pond Road student lounge
students sitting and talking in the Pond Road student lounge

York University’s ongoing commitment to promote a healthy, inclusive and supportive environment that fosters mental health and well-being among members of the York community will continue with events to mark Let’s Talk Day.

A series of events will take place on Jan. 25 to encourage members of the York community to increase engagement and awareness around mental health and wellness.

York’s comprehensive Mental Health & Wellness commitment is built on three foundational pillars – health and wellness promotion; facilitation of care and support; and collaboration and discussion.

The initiative was developed to support the premise that wellness is a necessary pre-condition to learning and working, and that physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, mental, and cultural and environmental health and learning are interdependent.

Here is a glimpse of what is happening on campus on Jan. 25:

YU Capture’s Life: A Mental Health Photo Gallery

This event takes place in Stong Dining Hall, with a Photo Gallery from 1 to 4pm, a hot chocolate giveaway, and a ‘Meet the Photographers’ event from 2:30 to 4:30pm. This event is organized by Health and Wellness at Calumet and Stong Colleges.

Calumet and Stong Colleges invite you to join the conversation on mental health and mental illness that has been sparked by the Bell Let’s Talk campaign. Many people living with a mental illness report that negative stereotypes about mental illness, and the resulting potential for discrimination, causes them more suffering than the illness itself. As a result, two-thirds of those suffering from mental illness are too afraid to seek the help that they need.

Visit Stong Dining Hall to view pictures taken by students in PSYC 4010 that represent an important aspect of adolescent and emerging adulthood mental health, meet with the Health and Wellness educators in the College, and join the conversation at the art station.


Taking place in Calumet Room 100 from 10am to 2pm are activities involving colouring books, board games, and Playdoh. There will also be a free film screening. This will be followed by a second “Paint Nite” event from 4:30 to 6:30pm, with tickets available at 122CC for $5. This event is organized by Calumet College Council & Active Minds.

York students reported that the top three factors that negatively impact students’ academic performance are stress, sleep difficulties, and anxiety. Join the Calumet College Council for a day of self-care with your choice of Paint Nite, colouring, games, Playdoh, and more. A film screening will be hosted by Active Minds.


York University Athletics & Recreation is participating in the Let’s Talk initiative on Jan. 25. Bell has partnered will all Canadian Universities’ athletics departments to reach out to students through various events and exercises. On social media, York Athletics & Recreation has been actively promoting language and conversation as a way to break down the stigma attached to mental health.

Athletes and coaches received special Bell Let’s Talk toques Jan. 14 and 21 at York Lions basketball and hockey games as part of an event called the Toque Social. York Lions athletes and coaches were encouraged to take selfies wearing the toques and post online using the hashtag #OneTeamforMentalHealth on Twitter.

York athletes have also been busy filling out special Let’s Talk speech bubbles with inspirational messages and posting those to Twitter at #OneTeamforMentalHealth. There’s also a display of hard copy speech bubbles at the Tait McKenzie Centre where visitors can read the messages from the athletes.

The Bell Let’s Talk initiative with athletes will culminate with a “Thunder Clap” on Jan. 25 at a pre-determined time. Thunder Clap is a program that allows Bell to share an inspirational message on an individual’s social media account. The message will be posted at the same time on everyone’s social media account. If you would like to be a part of Thunder Clap, there is still time to register by visiting oneteam.bell.ca.

For more resources, visit York University’s Let’s Talk webpage.