Having the courage to ask, “Are you okay?”

January 28, 2019 | Health, Society, Campus Life
I think we’re often afraid to ask, “Are you okay?” because we don’t know what to do if someone says, “No, I'm really not.”

Some people worry they might say something to make things worse, but that just isn’t the case. When you ask someone if they’re okay, you open a door. You show them you care. That they don’t have to carry their burden alone.

We're putting a lot of effort into our students’ mental health and now we're also dedicating some focus to staff and faculty wellbeing too. It’s about practicing what we preach and leading by example because mental illness doesn’t discriminate — it doesn’t just happen to students — it can hit anyone at any time.

Reducing the stigma around mental health starts with awareness, but we also need to have the courage to follow through. How great would it be to come to MacEwan — as a student or an employee — and trust the people here enough to know that there is always someone looking out for you? That if you’re struggling, you could feel safe enough to say that you’re going through a really hard time? That if you don’t seem yourself one day, someone will ask, “Are you okay?”

— Claudine Drefs, Nurse Educator, Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, and facilitator for the new Working Mind workshop, a new mental health training program for faculty and staff


Changing Minds Footer Image - 3 DotsClaudine's story and the new Working Mind workshops are part of Changing Minds: Creating a healthy campus — an initiative that makes mental health a priority. The program connects training opportunities, support services, resources and stories from real people across the MacEwan University community.

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