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Students speak out against stigma in school paper

A prominent Canadian school, Western University, published a comic in last Friday’s Western Gazette that was upsetting to students and community members alike.

The comic, meant to be a light-hearted joke, showed two t-shirts talking to each other. One was saying “why are you so happy?” and the other replied “my brother was really depressed, but he finally hung himself”.

Three different editors all approved the comic and regretted it.

Needless to say, the comic perpetuates stigma and was not well received. One student noted that it was especially in poor taste and offensive considering there had been a student from his dorm residence who had committed suicide the year before.

The Gazette’s editor in chief, Julian Uzielli, issued a public apology, saying “It was beneath our standards and I wish to offer a sincere apology to the Western community, particularly those struggling with depression”.

This incident speaks to the fact that we require more mental health literacy, even at the post-secondary level of education. We can’t take for granted that this is still very much a need.

But the good news and victory actually - is that people are speaking out about this kind of stigma! Fiteen or twenty years ago, this comic might have actually been considered funny. But today, students and a community did not allow it to slide. That’s a win!

Keep speaking out against stigma. That's how we create change.

View CTV news coverage of students' responses.