Top News

Acadia student athletes step up for Bell’s Let’s Talk Day

Acadia University student athletes, Taylor Makin, left, Fiona McGuinty and Geoff Schemitsch are all ready to speak up for mental health.
Acadia University student athletes, Taylor Makin, left, Fiona McGuinty and Geoff Schemitsch are all ready to speak up for mental health.

WOLFVILLE NS – Student athletes at over 50 Canadian universities are talking about mental health this month.

Among those stepping up at Acadia University for the Bell Let’s Talk conversation are: volleyball player Fiona McGuinty, an arts student, hockey players Taylor Makin and his fellow kinesiology major Geoff Schemitsch.
Growing discussion of mental health issues is a nation-wide effort in January, but especially on Jan. 25 when teams will line up to promote mental health on campuses across Canada.
McGuinty hopes the day will invite conversation and people won’t be afraid to talk about their concerns. With friends who’ve suffered from anxiety and depression, she’s glad to be wearing the blue Bell Let’s Talk toque.
Makin, who hails from Lethbridge, Alberta, hopes labels won’t be attached when those who need help ask for it.
He finds the day meaningful because his cousin, who played hockey in the NHL, lost his battle with depression and committed suicide.
“I understand what a person goes through, what to look for,” Makin said. He noted that his cousin found it hard to “be a part of what was going on. He did an unreal job of hiding it.”
Schemitsch, who calls Ottawa home, says "knowing there are other people going through the same situations and dealing with the same problems, really makes people feel comfortable to seek the help they need."
He believes that athletes standing up for mental health will fight the image of weakness associated with the illness.
“Anyone who is different from the norm in society today needs to know people can be there for you,” Schemitsch stated. “Bell supports the notion that you’re not alone.”
As McGuinty points out anyone with a broken leg appears to be suffering, but those with mental illness are too often not visible to others.
Education about mental health, Schemitsch says, will allow friends to note changes in others and allow them to open up before they shut down.
Phil Currie, executive director of Atlantic University Sport says student athletes will be “spreading the mental health message at campuses across Canada, sparking conversations with fellow students and offering their own perspectives on how we can all make a positive change."
Fans will receive thunder sticks and temporary tattoos and have the opportunity to sign talk bubbles and banners in support of mental health. Fans are also encouraged to take pictures and share on social media on Bell Let's Talk Day to support Canadian mental health and drive Bell's funding for mental health programs.

Did you know?
Some 20,000 student-athletes, four university sport conferences, and 53 Canadian universities are joining forces for Bell Let's Talk Day.
Schemitsch is one of six Academic All-Canadian student-athletes featured in Bell Let's Talk video series talking about mental illness and how to fight the stigma.

Bell Let's Talk Day
On Jan. 25, Bell will donate five cents to Canadian mental health programs for each of these interactions at no extra charge to participants:
• Every text message, mobile and long distance call made by Bell Canada and Bell Aliant customers.
• Twitter: Every tweet using #BellLetsTalk
• Facebook: Every view of the Bell Let's Talk Day video at Facebook.com/BellLetsTalk
• Instagram: Every post using #BellLetsTalk
• Snapchat: Every use of the Bell Let's Talk Snapchat geofilter
Bell Let's Talk Day 2016 set new records with 125.9 million messages of support, growing Bell's funding for Canadian mental health by $6,295,764.75. #BellLetsTalk was the #1 Twitter hashtag in Canada for all of 2016, and the most used in the world on Bell Let's Talk Day 2016.

Bell.ca/LetsTalk

Among those stepping up at Acadia University for the Bell Let’s Talk conversation are: volleyball player Fiona McGuinty, an arts student, hockey players Taylor Makin and his fellow kinesiology major Geoff Schemitsch.
Growing discussion of mental health issues is a nation-wide effort in January, but especially on Jan. 25 when teams will line up to promote mental health on campuses across Canada.
McGuinty hopes the day will invite conversation and people won’t be afraid to talk about their concerns. With friends who’ve suffered from anxiety and depression, she’s glad to be wearing the blue Bell Let’s Talk toque.
Makin, who hails from Lethbridge, Alberta, hopes labels won’t be attached when those who need help ask for it.
He finds the day meaningful because his cousin, who played hockey in the NHL, lost his battle with depression and committed suicide.
“I understand what a person goes through, what to look for,” Makin said. He noted that his cousin found it hard to “be a part of what was going on. He did an unreal job of hiding it.”
Schemitsch, who calls Ottawa home, says "knowing there are other people going through the same situations and dealing with the same problems, really makes people feel comfortable to seek the help they need."
He believes that athletes standing up for mental health will fight the image of weakness associated with the illness.
“Anyone who is different from the norm in society today needs to know people can be there for you,” Schemitsch stated. “Bell supports the notion that you’re not alone.”
As McGuinty points out anyone with a broken leg appears to be suffering, but those with mental illness are too often not visible to others.
Education about mental health, Schemitsch says, will allow friends to note changes in others and allow them to open up before they shut down.
Phil Currie, executive director of Atlantic University Sport says student athletes will be “spreading the mental health message at campuses across Canada, sparking conversations with fellow students and offering their own perspectives on how we can all make a positive change."
Fans will receive thunder sticks and temporary tattoos and have the opportunity to sign talk bubbles and banners in support of mental health. Fans are also encouraged to take pictures and share on social media on Bell Let's Talk Day to support Canadian mental health and drive Bell's funding for mental health programs.

Did you know?
Some 20,000 student-athletes, four university sport conferences, and 53 Canadian universities are joining forces for Bell Let's Talk Day.
Schemitsch is one of six Academic All-Canadian student-athletes featured in Bell Let's Talk video series talking about mental illness and how to fight the stigma.

Bell Let's Talk Day
On Jan. 25, Bell will donate five cents to Canadian mental health programs for each of these interactions at no extra charge to participants:
• Every text message, mobile and long distance call made by Bell Canada and Bell Aliant customers.
• Twitter: Every tweet using #BellLetsTalk
• Facebook: Every view of the Bell Let's Talk Day video at Facebook.com/BellLetsTalk
• Instagram: Every post using #BellLetsTalk
• Snapchat: Every use of the Bell Let's Talk Snapchat geofilter
Bell Let's Talk Day 2016 set new records with 125.9 million messages of support, growing Bell's funding for Canadian mental health by $6,295,764.75. #BellLetsTalk was the #1 Twitter hashtag in Canada for all of 2016, and the most used in the world on Bell Let's Talk Day 2016.

Bell.ca/LetsTalk

Latest News