Thursday, February 9 saw the Niagara Knights #MakeSomeNoise for mental health awareness during a double header in men’s and women’s volleyball against the visiting Sheridan Bruins. Despite notching a pair of critical victories on the court, the biggest win of the evening came off the floor when over 300 members of the Niagara College community came together to bring awareness to an issue the challenges countless Canadians.
#MakeSomeNoise for Mental Health is an award winning initiative founded in 2015 by the SAIT Trojans designed as a campaign to help raise awareness and break the stigma surrounding mental health on post-secondary campuses. The awareness campaign is intended to encourage conversation and open mindedness, and better promote resources and support available on campus and in the local community.
The week leading into the February 9 event saw members of the nine Niagara Knights intercollegiate athletics programs promote and champion the event through an organized campaign on social media. Organizations from across the Niagara Region held a service fair during the volleyball matches in the Welland Campus Athletic Centre promoting available mental health services. Additionally during the volleyball matches members of the Knights volleyball programs wore branded #MakeSomeNoise for mental health apparel, and prizes courtesy of MT Bellies Restaurant and the Niagara College department of Athletics and Recreation were given away throughout the evening.
“The Make Some Noise for Mental Health Awareness campaign was a terrific success” said Niagara College director of Athletics & Recreation Matthew Davies. “We are proud to have had the opportunity to bring the community onto campus and provide information about the importance of mental health.”
Members of the local Niagara Rapids youth volleyball club were invited to attend the event and participate in prize giveaways. Local mental health organizations including Pathstone Mental Health, Gateway Welland, Canadian Mental Health Association of Niagara, and Niagara College Counselling Services handed out giveaways and provided important educational information to all attendees.
“We would like to extend a big thank you to the Niagara Rapids Volleyball club and the entire Niagara College community for their support in bringing the event to life” continued Davies. “Additionally, thanks to Niagara College Student Services, CMHA Niagara, Pathstone, and Gateway, for sharing the mental health resources that are available to the Niagara community. We hope that this will generate further conversation about the importance of mental health.”
In addition to the awareness activities surrounding the event, all ticket sales from the evening will be donated to CMHA Niagara.