Tuesday, 23 January 2018 10:54

MHC Rattlers make some noise for mental health

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During the week of January 21, 2018 the Medicine Hat College (MHC) Rattlers are helping to reduce stigma related to mental illness and promote mental health and wellness by taking part in a conference-wide awareness campaign – Make Some Noise for Mental Health. 

To kick-start the week’s activities, a march will take place on January 24 at 11:50 a.m. throughout campus. Student-athletes will use noise makers while walking the halls to help raise awareness and break stigmas around mental health. 
“The Rattlers participate in Make Some Noise because they understand the difficulties that some of their fellow athletes, students and college employees face every day,” says Patrick Sharp, athletic events supervisor. “They realize that their stature as athletes gives them a platform to help raise awareness of mental health – both the issues that some people face, as well as the options available for people to get help.” 
On Friday, the college will host a Spirit Day. During the weekend games, the Rattlers will set up a Hallway of Happiness, where information about mental health will be available from both on- campus service providers as well as others throughout the community. Fans will be encouraged to make some noise during the games for a chance to win prizes. 
According to Marie Wanty, MHC counsellor, one in five Canadians - during their lifetime - will experience mental health issues with anxiety being the most common. 
“It is nice to see that there is less of a stigma around mental health. To have the student-athletes use their stage to tell others it is okay, not to be okay, is great because it is also showing that they aren’t alone and that mental illness can impact anyone.”
Wanty mentions that there are many factors that can cause individuals to struggle with issues including depression and anxiety. 
“For our students, balancing school with the pressures of life can be overwhelming, in particular because of influences like social media. There is a feeling of needing to be perfect. We offer a number of services on campus to help promote mental health and wellbeing with our students
including counselling, indigenous student support, chaplaincy and academic support.”
For those not wanting to talk to someone, Wanty mentions that there are resources available on the counseling website and through Student 101, which is sent to their mymhc account every month. 
“If you are a student who isn’t ready to talk, or perhaps just need some more information, we encourage you to visit our website or check out the Student Health 101 e-magazine that is delivered to your inbox monthly. It promotes a holistic approach to mental health by providing a range of tips from meal planning to mindful practices.”  
For anyone interested in learning more about the Make Some Noise event or the services available at  MHC visit www.mhc.ab.ca.

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