Mental Health Awareness and Advising

Mental Health Awareness and Advising
A part of the ‘Advise the Advisor’ series
Presented by: Clem Martini, Carolyn Clare, Aleesha Bray and Kendra Ardell
Thursday, October 25, 2012


Thanks to everyone who came out for today’s talk on Mental Health Awareness.

Clem, author of Bitter Medicine, shared some of his personal stories.  He discussed the complexity of mental illness in terms of getting a diagnosis, securing appropriate treatment, and the involvement of family and support networks. He talked about ripples and repercussions and how the impact of mental illness reaches far beyond the patient.  What Clem has learned is that it is in everyone’s best interest to connect with and find support for the person who is diagnosed with a mental illness, so that the long-term outcome is more positive.

The need for connection and support segued into the theme of Carolyn Claire’s overview of the services provided by the Student Union through the Wellness Centre. She indicated that often a student presents a problem that is intertwined with other challenges (for example anxiety due to financial or home situation which leads to poor academic performance, which leads to physical symptoms). The Wellness Centre provides access to Health Services, Counselling Services and the Faith and Spirituality Centre, and works closely with other units on campus and in the community to provide comprehensive support.

Kendra Ardell and Aleesha Bray closed the session with some information about the Common Reading program, which began two years ago as a means to encourage students to engage with each other and with the campus community. This engagement continues throughout the year, as several instructors incorporate the book into their course curricula.

The session ended with the distribution of author-signed copies of Bitter Medicine to five advisors:

  • Nanako Furuyama, Women’s Resource Centre
  • Yanmei Fei, Mathematics/Statistics Department
  • Helen Werner, Schulich School of Engineering
  • Alison Schmal, Drama/Music Department
  • Kevin Wiens, Undergraduate Admissions

Recommended Websites:
SU Wellness Centre
Mental Health Awareness Week

PowerPoint Presentation by Carolyn Claire

Blog posted by: Heather Smith Watkins

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