Blue 2013 raises awareness about mental health

Students enjoyed visiting with Therapy Tails therapy dogs at the Welland Campus on Jan. 21. The therapy dogs will also be at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus on Jan. 22.


On Jan. 21, Niagara College ushered in ‘Blue Monday’ on Jan. 21– known as the most depressing day of the year – with the debut of Blue 2013.

The mental awareness week began as a social media initiative and sparked into a series of events occurring at colleges across Ontario who are members of the College Student Alliance.   

The Niagara College Student Administrative council planned several events at both campuses to take place from Jan 21 to Jan. 25 as part of the Blue 2013.  

“I feel this is important for the students as well as College because it brings issues out into the open,” said Katryna McKenna, president of the Niagara College Student Administrative Council. “Having NCSAC take the initiative on-campus will help students eliminate the shadow and stigma that is associated with mental health.”

On Jan. 21, Blue 2013 kicked off with a visit from Therapy Tails therapy dogs at the Welland Campus and an Oxygen Bar at Niagara on the Lake.

The events will continue all week long.

Students at the Welland Campus can enjoy a smoothie bar outside of the Core on Jan. 22 (1:30-2:30 p.m.); belly dancing hosted by NC Athletic department (Jan. 22, 8:30-9:30 p.m.); an oxygen bar at The Core (Jan. 23, 12:30-4:30 p.m.); Hardcore Abs and Spin Class hosted by the NC Athletics department (Jan. 23, 1:30-2:30 p.m. and 6:30-7:30 p.m.); and Salsa dancing hosted by NC Athletics (Jan. 24, 6:30-7:30 p.m.).

Activities in Niagara-on-the-Lake include a visit from the Therapy Tails dogs outside of the SAC office (Jan. 22, noon-2 p.m.); and a smoothie bar outside of the library (Jan. 23, 12:30-1:30 p.m.).

At each event, NSSAC is handing out information to students about Blue 2013. The material tells students that if they have the blues; feel stressed, tired, depressed or anxious; and if it is impacting their grades, they are not alone.  It makes them aware of supports in their community and encourages them to share their stories Students provide their stories to NCSAC, who is posting them via Twitter at #Blues2013.

This is the first time that NCSAC has been involved in this event and it plans to continue it annually.

Visit NCSAC’s website for more information.


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