By Kaytlyn Poberznick
Bell Let’s Talk month has arrived. From January 17 to February 13, the ACAC (Alberta Collegiate Athletic Conference) will be ‘making some noise for mental health’ in an attempt to talk about and de-stigmatize mental health.
Over the past few years, conversations have emerged about athletes and the silent struggles they go through. The Let’s Talk initiative, started by Bell Mobility, aids in raising awareness about mental health issues in the field of athletics.
Three NAIT teams are participating in the event this year. Each of the teams came up with their own initiatives to show the community what NAIT has to offer in the world of mental health and well-being.
“So far, we have a webinar [made by women’s hockey] with some great guest speakers that they are going to be inviting NAIT students to. The audience that they are catering it to is NAIT students. They want people to talk about resources at NAIT, peoples’ experiences, everything to give a good background on mental health support at NAIT,” said Alex Galenza, the Athletics Events & Communications Coordinator at NAIT.
“The other one is going to be a compiled resource document [made by women’s basketball], that is going to have a bunch of resources on NAIT mental health supports, [and] different mental health supports. It’s also going to be given to high school students so that they can know what it’s like to be an athlete at a higher collegiate level. It’s going to be for a broader audience, but it’s also going to have a lot of information.”
“And then the last one is a ‘week in the life of a collegiate athlete’ video [made by women’s volleyball]. It’s just going to be something that shows the community what it’s like to be a collegiate athlete and how it isn’t all rainbows and sunshine and sometimes it’s actually a really hard experience.”
Social media will be a great resource for students to stay updated on these projects throughout the month.
“Just follow along on our NAIT Ooks main account or each team’s account,” said Galenza.
“We’re also collaborating with well-being and counseling services for some of these events, so they’ll probably be promoting them as well, so it should be well known to the NAIT students by the time these activities are coming to light.”
These initiatives will be ready by the beginning of February and will be available to all NAIT students and staff.
(Cover Photo from NAIT Ooks via Flickr)