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The Many Faces of Mental Health Advocacy

Written by QCMHA member, Scott Reeves

One of my biggest takeaways from being a mental health advocate is that there is not a one size fits all approach. Rather, there are countless ways to be an advocate within your community.

During Mental Health Week (October 4-10, 2020), there were many examples of advocacy shown on the QCMHA Instagram, such as Ali Jones’ discussion around the proper terminology to use related to suicide and Sarah Elop, who promoted the benefits of exercise on your mental health.

Advocacy can be as simple as asking your friends how they are doing or changing the terminology you use. Your actions do not have to be momentous in order to be an advocate. We can all be advocates.

Through my time with QCMHA, I have taken part in many different events and have continuously promoted the club on campus. While this has positively affected the community, my biggest impact with the club has been somewhat unexpected.

Last year our sponsorship team came up with the idea to run a Movember campaign for men’s mental health. During our campaign I decided to contact Movember to see if we could partner on events in the future. One year later, I have developed a close relationship with the teams at Movember, which has helped me learn about the charity and how I can help with initiatives surrounding men’s mental health.

Even after just one year, I have felt the difference it has made, from connections with other mental health ambassadors across Canada, to being asked to write an article for them on the story of QCMHA this November. Every call with Movember is exciting and opens a whole new list of opportunities, which is why I plan to stay involved with them after I graduate from Queen’s University.

I strongly recommend checking out the content on the QCMHA Instagram from this past week as we discussed many different topics surrounding mental health. There really are countless opportunities to express your passion for mental health and there can never be too many advocates. The key is committing to always learning and helping in any way you can, big or small.

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