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Upping the volume: Make Some Noise for Mental Health returns for 2019 

Make Some Noise for Mental Health, the SAIT-made campaign runs for three weeks instead of one this year.

The fourth annual Make Some Noise for Mental Health campaign kicked off at SAIT on Jan. 11, 2019 with some notable changes.

This year’s campaign had a “handful of new things,” according to Trojans Marketing and Communications Coordinator Billie Rae Busby. One of the most notable is extending the campaign to three weeks.

“We usually do it for about a week. We decided to go for three weeks here to create more opportunities for impact across campus, and it gives more opportunity to promote the resources that students and staff do have at SAIT,” said Busby.

Make Some Noise for Mental Health

Other new events this year include sound bowl yoga, and a stress-less noon hour information session, which was a collaboration with the Student Development and Counselling department.

Busby believes it’s important for athletes to help break the stigma around mental health, and try to erase the “tough and stoic” stereotype.

“Why we felt so strongly that they needed to be involved was for a couple of reasons,” said Busby.

“First reason, they’re often looked at as role models, and with that, in turn, the second reason is because they’re looked at as role models, sometimes they’re the last to ask for help.

“They might feel like there is a lot on their plate, or they have higher expectations on them to make sure they accomplish a little bit more than the regular student because they have all these weighty goals, practices, and games all the time.”

Make Some Noise for Mental Health

The crowd walked through all the main buildings on campus for Make Some Noise for Mental Health, chanting and yelling along the way. (Photo by Jp Pitogo/SAIT)

Make Some Noise for Mental Health

SAIT student-athletes led a mobile pep rally on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019 to start off the Make Some Noise for Mental Health awareness campaign. (Photo by Jp Pitogo/SAIT)

The Trojans are huge advocates for the campaign, with veteran women’s basketball guard Mel Woolley saying it brings the team closer together, generating a campus-wide ripple effect for athletes.

“We have a few teammates who’ve been quite personally affected by mental health issues, and I know that they’ve been able to talk freely about it [which] has really not only helped them, but helped other teammates who maybe also have had connections with mental health but haven’t felt as comfortable being able to open up about it,” Woolley said.

Woolley has had family members struggle with mental health, and said the event has helped a lot with breaking the stigma, advocating that people shouldn’t be ashamed or hide their issues, and that reaching out for help is the best way to deal with them.

The event was started at SAIT in 2015 by Busby.

She said that she and a former colleague were brainstorming one day, and the campaign sparked from a subject that hit home for both of them.

“Really, it came out of a conversation we had about the Brentwood murders that had happened,” Busby explained.

Busby felt empathy for the families that were affected by the mass murder that took place in April 2014. Due to a past experience, she decided that mental health should be a discussion worth having.

The growth of the campaign has been tremendous, with it spreading across the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) after their first year of the campaign, and also being endorsed by the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA).

She also credits the Bell “Let’s Talk” campaign for trying to conquer the stigma, along with the nation-wide conversation around mental health.

“I think overall that has changed the conversation, and that to me is why we do it,” Busby stated.

Make Some Noise for Mental Health

The pep rally organizers handed out noise-making toys to all the participants beforehand. (Jp Pitogo/SAIT)

 “Not just because of social media posts or some buzz on TV, but really because of those personal connections and stories. 

“Hopefully, it will open the conversation for people to feel more comfortable and more empathetic to each other.”

If you are experiencing struggles with mental health, contact Student Development and Counselling at (403) 284 7023, located at AA205, Heritage Hall.

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