YukonU receives $50,000 from Bell Let’s Talk Diversity Fund; highlights Bell Let’s Talk Day with week of activities

WHITEHORSE, YT—Yukon University has received $50,000 from the Bell Let’s Talk Diversity Fund towards the development of an integrated Mental Health and Wellness Strategy for students and employees.

The funding was announced last week as part of $1 million in grants announced by Bell Let’s Talk for organizations across Canada.

“We’re grateful to the Bell Let’s Talk Diversity Fund for supporting the development and implementation of our new Mental Health and Wellness Strategy, including enhancements to our wellness facilities and programs,” said Dr. Maggie Matear, interim president and vice chancellor. “This project really puts the focus on student wellness. We hope that our renewed focus on understanding the diverse experiences of our multi-cultural community will allow more employees to support students and one another.”

Development of the YukonU Mental Health and Wellness Strategy was announced in November with an initial $100,000 funding support from RBC. Led by Colleen Wirth, an employee committee is tasked with garnering feedback from students, Elders and colleagues, identifying best practices at other Canadian universities, and delivering a draft strategy by early fall.

Thursday, January 28, is Bell Let’s Talk Day, when Canadians everywhere are encouraged to promote dialogue and awareness of mental health.

On this day, Bell donates 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for every applicable text, local or long-distance call, tweet or TikTok video using #BellLetsTalk, every Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube view of the Bell Let’s Talk Day video, and every use of the Bell Let’s Talk Facebook frame or Snapchat filter. All at no cost to participants beyond what they would normally pay their service provider for online or phone access.

To highlight mental health and wellness for students, faculty and staff, YukonU is hosting a mix of online and physically distanced in-person events throughout the entire week.

The Student Success Division is hosting daily Zoom sessions at 2:00 p.m. each day where participants can share around meditation and stress relief, light exercise, music and their pets. On Thursday, the Bell Let’s Talk flag will be raised at Ayamdigut campus and there will be an in-person campfire at Roddy’s Camp from noon until 2:00 p.m.

“Connecting with one another has become so much more important as we deal with the challenges of COVID-19. Bell Let’s Talk Day is an important reminder to check in with those you care about and have direct conversations about how they and you are really doing. Taking that moment to listen and really care makes such a difference,” said Meaghen Kimmitt, student engagement team leader.