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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Concordia CA chapter.

It’s mid-January, the spirit of giving and all around cheerfulness that the holidays tend to bring have probably died down, only to be replaced by harsh weather and an even harsher reality that summer is still four long months away.


With daylight savings causing the days to be shorter and the nights longer, that means the sun barely makes an appearance some days, if at all. A study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that  lack of sunlight, along with other varying factors in one’s life, can lead to seasonal affective disorder sometimes known as winter depression..


Unfortunately, there tends to not be much freedom that allows one to express how they may be struggling with their mental health. There is still this stigma that surrounds this idea of mental health. One of the biggest ways to remove a stigma is to talk about what is being stigmatized, so, let’s talk about mental health.


According to the Jack Talks speaker manual, “the term ‘mental health’ often makes people instantly think about mental illnesses like depression, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder. Mental health, however, does not refer to illness alone. While it is true that one in every five people will experience a mental illness, five  in five of us have mental health. ”


Mental health is a key component of what makes us well; just like physical, emotional, or spiritual health. Whereas physical health refers to our bodies, mental health refers to our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. All four of these components can, and often do, intersect.


Just like many other things in the world, mental health is not black or white. It lies on a spectrum which, depending on how you’re living your life, fluctuates between healthy, stressed, struggling, and crisis, the manual continues.


As the conversation continues, here are some services that are committing to help end the stigma.

Bell Canada, one of the telecommunications companies in Canada, has committed to doing their part in ending the stigma surrounding mental health and creating a space for anyone and everyone to feel comfortable talking about their mental health story. On Jan. 31, not only did they encourage others to join the conversation about mental health, they also raised funds through the #BellLetsTalk hashtag to support organizations that are also doing mental health research.




Thanks to a growing network of young people all across Canada choosing to speak up, other organizations like Jack.org are able to exist and continue to grow. Jack.org is, “the only national network of young people changing the way we think about mental health.” They aim to end the stigma in this generation, through initiatives, such as Jack Talks, their national summit, and various Jack Chapters created across the country,  designed with the input of young people at every step.


Through it all, it is important to take care of yourself. Self-care should never be understated. Self-care looks different for everyone, and that is ok. For some that may be watching motivational videos on YouTube; others like to explore nature; and others just want to play video games or binge their favorite Netflix show. Whatever you choose to do, make sure it helps bring you back to the healthy side of the spectrum rather than the stressed/struggling side. Remember that professional help is needed when one no longer feels in control of their health.



Here’s to starting the conversation about mental health, and raising mental health awareness around us.


*Facts taken from Jack.org website



Josie Fome is a graduate student in Journalism. She loves to read, write and enjoy the ocassional Netflix binge. She's quick to extend motivation and encouragement wherever needed. In her spare time, you can (try) to catch her sneaking onto rooftops for breathtaking skyline views.
Krystal Carty

Concordia CA '19

Krystal Carty is a second year journalism student and the founding member of the Concordia chapter of Her Campus. Her interests include drinking copious amounts of caffeine and spending as much time with her adorable rescue dog as possible. Krystal has a degree in sarcasm and a love for all things pop culture.