I have heard from many post secondary students of their struggles with online learning and felt there was a gap in support for that. I also felt that many post-secondary students would struggle with accessing mental health support from home with many institutions being online this semester/school year. I wanted that peer-to-peer connection to stay intact while being apart.
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Stacie, COVID-19 Student Support Network Founder
Stacie is a proud Atlantic Canadian and recent graduate of Dalhousie University. She participated in mindyourmind’s youthexperts Online program this summer, and has since founded the COVID-19 Student Support Network. Stacie spoke to us about her country-wide initiative, which launched just a few days ago:
I am hoping that students can find connections with each other during such a difficult time. I am also hoping that students will benefit from the website in terms of finding the resources they need and the volunteer opportunities they are interested in, to improve their resume and skill sets.
The biggest challenge has been getting things organized. Where it is being rolled out across Atlantic Canada to start, it's quite a large area to cover and lots of students to support. We’re also working on getting it launched to the rest of Canada by the end of the year and are busy getting things ready for that. The highlight so far is the passion of the project team. These youth are very passionate about mental health and are the main reason we are getting things launched as soon as we are!
I’ve been able to use a lot of the information that I learned from the youthexperts Online program this summer. There were many skills I was not as strong with, such as graphic design and research/evaluation. It was an amazing experience and I was very proud to be the lone Atlantic Canadian participant. It was also great to get to know the other amazing youth from across the country that are making amazing changes for mental health.
I would say to enjoy life more and get out with my friends more often. Before the pandemic, I considered myself to be a very introverted person. Once the lockdown got even longer, I realized how much I missed being around others and really love that social connection.
People can check out our website, covid19mentalhealthawareness.com and follow us on Instagram @covid19ssn. We will be launching on October 21, 2020, so be sure to check out our Instagram for more! We have an upcoming Virtual Jack.org Summit in November, so stay tuned for more information on that!
If people would like to get involved in the project itself, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’d just like to thank the mindyourmind team for all of the support and encouragement they provided me with this past summer. It really helped me launch this initiative and gave me the skills to make it successful! I highly recommend this program to anyone in the future who wants to create a mental health initiative/project.
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