On behalf of OSTA-AECO, the Co-Chairs of the Student Well-Being Working Group, Keith Baybayon and Isabel Unger would like to take a moment in acknowledging and celebrating World Mental Health Day.
With the recent end of Mental Health Awareness Week, we wanted to touch upon topics regarding mental health and the challenges that come along with it. In any given year, 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness. Mental health issues affect people of all ages, education, income levels, and cultures. It is more than an absence of mental illness, it is a state of wellbeing that allows people to reach their full potential and be connected with the world.
During these trying times, many people have been affected by poor mental health due to the pandemic. COVID-19 has affected people with already existing mental illnesses and even created more barriers for them. A poll found that 50% of Canadians reported worsening mental health since the pandemic began with many feeling worried and anxious. Anxiety and fear are normal as COVID-19 is something we haven’t experienced before.
This period of time will always be remembered in history and our generation will be known for going through these challenges. We wanted to emphasize the fact that you are not alone. We know how difficult and challenging it might be through these uncertainties, but we encourage you all to prioritize your well-being. Make sure to call your friends, spend time with family and eat healthily. This pandemic will not last forever, so just make sure to stay on track with your mental health.
The Co-Chairs of the Student Well-Being Working Group have adapted our initiatives to fit the needs of students during this pandemic. We will be working with various health organizations and students across Ontario to better the mental and physical health of all.
Just remember, the sun shines brightest after a storm.
Our mental and physical health advocacy has just begun, and we will ensure that a community is built through all we endure. The well-being of our students is of the utmost importance, and it’s time we started realizing that.
Yours in leadership,
Keith Baybayon and Isabel Unger
Student Well-Being Working Group Co-Chairs
OSTA-AECO is a nonprofit organization comprised entirely of current and former student trustees who volunteer on a part-time basis to advocate for the improvement of public education in the province of Ontario.
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