If Savannah Bennett needed any confirmation that talking about mental health makes
a difference, she got it through the words of a friend on Wednesday.
Bennett is a fourth-year psychology major at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland in Corner Brook.
She’s currently vice-president of Grenfell’s psychology society and holds an executive position on the campus’s Jack.org chapter.
Both groups were represented at a mental health fair set up in the atrium of the campus to mark Bell Let’s Talk day.
It was during the event that a friend approached her in tears and told Bennett she’d been feeling low all week. But the event happening in the atrium picked the friend up and reminded her she’s not alone.
Mental health affects everyone and that’s why it’s so important to talk about it, said Bennett.
And the activities in the atrium, including making stress balls, presented the perfect opportunity to do just that.
“It opens up the conversation on talking about the stresses that come along with university,” said Bennett. “It makes everyone feel comfortable about talking about mental health.”
Life for university students can be stressful with juggling classes and getting used to the university environment.
“It’s a lot of hard work and takes a lot of drive and determination.”
Bennett has felt the stress herself and has come to recognize that she needs to reach out to people to help her cope.
And she’s found just the network she needs at Grenfell.
“Everyone is so accepting and you can really be yourself. People will love you with your flaws and everything.”
But she knows that others are not as lucky and said the major problem the groups she’s involved with is now tackling is trying to advocate for increased access to mental health care.
Funds raised by a bake sale the society held at the fair will go to the friendship centre being established in the city to support indigenous families struggling with addiction.