Join the conversation about mental health at Sheridan!
by: Sylvia Ibrahim, SSU President
Sheridan, brace yourselves for a bright yellow Friendship Bench in your hallway! You may wonder what the meaning of a Friendship Bench is and how it came about so I’m here to tell you.
People often sit on benches to wait for a bus or read a book, but the Friendship Bench is a spot for openness & friendly chats that could save lives.
The Friendship Bench is a not-for-Profit Corporation launched in 2015 by Sam Fiorella. Sam was inspired by his Son Lucas, who after suffering from depression in secret for a number of years, took his own life in October 2014.
Sam Fiorella believes that the Friendship Bench is a destination where students who are struggling to connect with others and find it difficult to ask for help, can talk with someone willing to offer an ear to listen with, a shoulder to cry on or just a simple “hello.”
Sheridan Student Union & the Health & Counselling Department decided to collaborate on this project and bring forward this initiative in hopes that it serves as a visual reminder for students to openly talk about mental health, to take a break, eat lunch with friends, say hello & help the organization’s goal of reducing the escalating number of youth suicides.
This campaign is not just about the bench, it involves on-campus support, lectures & awareness campaigns such as “Bench Conversations”, “10 Days of Happy” & “100 Misfits”.
I hope you can all join us in this movement that starts with a simple “Hello”.
The benches will be unveiled at all 3 campuses this month on January 23rd, 24th & 25th. We are tying it in with Bell Let’s talk to foster an environment that encourages healthy conversations and that reduces mental health stigma.
January 23 - Trafalgar B-Wing @ 1:00 p.m.
January 24 - Davis Union Square / Student Centre @ 1:00 p.m.
January 25 - HMC Bridge @ 1:00 p.m.