One of the most powerful ways to combat the stigma around mental illness, is simply to talk about it.
As one of the organizers, Julia Denley explains, “students often…have difficulty accessing resources and knowing where to go, especially students in residence who might not be familiar with, like, community resources.”
That’s why a group of University of Victoria students founded the UVic Mental Health Awareness Club. Julia Denley is co-president.
“UVic has ‘The Student Mental Health Strategy’…we’ve collaborated with them, and we’ve formed a mental health network now…
“So we’re…all collaborating to see how we can cover all the bases and work together to make the biggest impact.”
And now, for the second year in a row, the club is hosting Music Makers and Stigma Shakers.
A headliner at last year’s benefit concert, Sam Weber jumped at the chance to help the cause once again.
“It’s still fairly stigmatized to speak out openly mental health,” explained Weber “so it’s something that’s important to me to bring awareness to…
“It’s something…easy for me to do, I mean, we love to play so it’s a great opportunity to do that, and hopefully get some awareness going about mental health.”
The evening will blend great music, with an important message.
“Great bands to draw people in” says Denley, “but then we have mental health speakers in the set changes, so it kind of weaves an education without it being too heavy on the awareness component.”