Service Learning Team - ROCK
By: Angela Gerada, Manya Bhandari, Nishita Pillai, and Senoli Jayaratna
For three months, the HYI Service Learning team focused their efforts on creating an awareness and action campaign to promote the programs and services of ROCK (Reach Out Centre for Kids), our local youth mental health organization in Halton Region.
Overall Mental Health Stigma -
The stigma on mental health comes from societal disapproval, misunderstanding, and shame placed on those who experience a mental illness. As awareness is increasingly being spread on this topic, false ideologies continue to be passed along among people. However, this can have the same impact on an individual as bullying, since they can feel targeted, outcasted and lack self-esteem. In extreme situations, people may take their lives in response to discrimination. Therefore, it is important to break this stigma and take it upon ourselves to learn about the truth behind mental health. This can allow us to better understand the difficulties individuals face and identify positive ways in which we can support them. Mental health can occur at all ages, and to any type of person despite ethnicity, gender, wealth, or religion. In fact the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the severity of mental health issues through isolation and a challenging new environment.
Therefore, the service learning team hosted a trivia event for the Halton community, which served to break the stigma on mental health through various questions that challenged false understandings. Through this event, we hoped to advocate for those struggling with mental health and convey that they are resilient, strong and capable individuals, despite their personal challenges.
Voice from Sunday Event - The service learning team put together an event on Sunday, November 14th to support our current mental health initiative. This event was done with the purpose of raising awareness surrounding youth mental health, raising some donations to support ROCK and providing an overall fun time for youth attendees. At the event, we spoke about our partnership with ROCK, gave a short summary of our work with them thus far, and spent the majority of our time with a Kahoot that the Service Learning team put together. Our Kahoot consisted of four different categories, two surrounding youth mental health - as previously stated to raise awareness - and the other two were just fun categories to help improve the mental health of all the youth attending. Who doesn’t love a good trivia night?
Scavenger Hunt - The other part of our fundraiser to support ROCK is our online scavenger hunt. Participants will have to screenshot parts of ROCK’s website, based on the question asked, and submit it on a google form. This not only motivates them to donate to ROCK, but it also expands their knowledge of mental health and the ROCK organization. We have specifically chosen parts of the website that talk about mental health, the organization, and where to find help if you need it. The scavenger hunt was a fun and beneficial part of the ROCK fundraiser.