For the Record – BCIT Mental Wellness Campaign with Andrea Wilder

Marwa Elgabry – October 2nd, 2019

BCIT is hosting a week long mental wellness campaign ahead of Canada’s Mental Illness Awareness Week. Speak Up Speak Out aims to create an environment where students are inspired to speak up about their mental health.

(Andrea Wilder / BCIT Student Association Health and Wellness Manager)

BCIT Student Association logo.

(BCIT News)

BCIT is campaigning to promote mental wellness ahead of next weeks national Mental Illness Awareness week. Speak Up Speak Out is a week long campaign aimed at fostering an environment where community members are inspired speak up about their mental health. Andrea Wilder, Student Association Health and Wellness Manager, says the campaign was first created four years ago out of a need for meaningful dialogue about mental health.

“We find that there’s still a lot of silence on the topic of mental health and this lack of openness prevents students from accessing help when they need it most.” – Andrea Wilder, BCIT Student Association Health and Wellness Manager

She states the campaign’s slogan, “Mental Health Toolbox: Tools for Achieving Balance”, stems from a need to help students strike a balance between physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, financial, and academic needs. Wilder emphasizes that achieving this balance is at the core of students overall well being.

“According to the Canadian Mental health association, mental health means striking a balance in all aspects of ones life. When you’re attending university, adjusting to new a new schedule and juggling many priorities it’s really easy to feel unbalanced and overwhelmed as a student. And they forget to take that time for self care and engaging in activities that might relieve stress and bring joy.” – Andrea Wilder, BCIT Student Association Health and Wellness Manager

Some of the activities offered at Speak Up Speak Out week include a mental health resource fair, stress management workshop, suicide prevention training, and pet therapy.

Pet therapy at a BCIT Speak Up Speak Out campaign.

( Andrea Wilder / BCIT Student Association Health and Wellness Manager)

Students are encouraged to access BCIT’s mental wellness resources such as free counseling services and online counseling, or to contact the 24/7 B.C. crisis centre access line.

  1. BCIT student association online counselling – https://www.bcitsa.ca/student-services/health-dental-plan/online-counselling/
  2. BCIT counselling 7 Student Development – https://www.bcit.ca/counselling/
  3. BC Crisis Centre: https://crisiscentre.bc.ca/
  4. BCITSA Speak Up Speak Out Schedule of events: https://www.bcitsa.ca/suso/

To hear the full interview, click on the link below.