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Mental Health Matters

by Mattia Gregory, DTI Program Coordinator

Jan 19, 2024

Posted in: , , , , ,

The following article was originally published in the GDI Communicator Vol. 17 Issue 12, December 2023. The Communicator is a monthly internal newsletter intended to celebrate the achievements of the management and staff of the Gabriel Dumont Institute. You can find the archive of previous issues in the Virtual Museum of Métis History and Culture.

Now more than ever, making mental health a priority has never been more important. Statistics Canada reported that over 5 million Canadians aged 15 and older met the criteria for a mood, anxiety or substance use disorder in 2022, and half of them have not spoken with a healthcare professional about their mental health in the past year (Stephenson, 2023).

What can we do to help increase Mental Health awareness and the importance of looking after our mental health? Dumont Technical Institute has been working on a Mental Health Initiative for our students. DTI created mental health support pamphlets full of great information and ideas about where and how to get support. We also have created mental health wellness boards throughout our campuses, focusing on you and your mental health matter. We want our students to know that they are not alone and that we are here to help. We may not have all the answers, but we can listen and will help get students pointed in the right direction to find the right support. Open and honest communication, active listening, and compassion can make a world of difference.

Keep.meSAFE is another mental health program DTI has available for our students. It promotes early intervention and 24/7 access to mental health support. Helping students manage their mental health so they can fully participate in academic life and complete their studies. Students can text or call to speak to a certified counsellor at any time, day or night, help is available.

We have recently started promoting Embracing Life, which is a suicide prevention initiative. Embracing Life has a free app where students can journal, have daily check-ins with themselves, create a safe space, and access resources available to them 24/7. The app has all the Saskatchewan emergency numbers for students who need emergent intervention.

Embracing Life has sent us wallet cards with all the Saskatchewan emergency numbers, along with suicide prevention stickers. The stickers can be put anywhere: doors, binders, laptops, water bottles, etc. These stickers are to make others aware that they can talk about their mental health struggles with the person who has the sticker. This is so students know who they can talk to if they are struggling, whether that be their Program Support Facilitator, Instructor, another student, or anyone with a sticker.

One step at a time, we will continue to work towards normalizing talking about mental health and increasing our support because you and your mental health matter.

Stephenson, E. (2023, September 22) Mental disorders and access to mental health care. Insights on Canadian Society.

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