U of S supports Mental Health Awareness Week

SASKATOON - It's Mental Health Awareness Week on campus as staff and students are encouraged to take part in awareness week activities.

By James Shewaga
The week is put on by the University of Saskatchewan Students' Union (USSU) and the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), kicking off Monday with a Mental Health Community Fair in the north concourse of Place Riel Students' Centre from 10 am to 4 pm. The week continues with workshops, panel discussions and guest speakers, with the full schedule available here.

Here are some of the mental health services available on campus to staff and students, and possible interview subjects for local media:

Mental health expert:
Name: Sara Liebman, clinical psychologist and occupational therapist, Disability Services for Students Office
Area of expertise: After several decades working with young adults and their families as well as with hospitalized adults in psychiatry, Liebman can answer most mental-health related questions.
Contact information: 306-966-1279, sara.liebman@usask.ca

Students educating students about mental health:
Name: Rita Hanoski, health educator and promoter, Student Health Services
Area of expertise: Hanoski manages the Peer Health Mentors, student volunteers who help promote healthy living (sub-groups include: mental health and wellbeing, sexual health and intimate relationships, nutrition and fitness, alcohol and partying, and healthy relationships and sexual assault awareness.)
Contact information: 306-966-5802, rita.hanoski@usask.ca

Student counselling services on university campuses:
Name: Terrie Fitzpatrick, manager, Student Counselling Services
Area of expertise: Fitzpatrick can talk about the role of Student Counselling Services, if mental-health related visits have gone up or down over the last few years, and what a counsellor might tell a student who is finding it hard to cope.
Contact information: 306-261-1406, terrie.fitzpatrick@usask.ca

Accommodating students with disabilities:
Name: Maxine Kinakin, manager and assistant registrar (accommodation), Disability Services for Students Office
Area of expertise: The majority of students registered with the Disability Services for Students office are students with hidden or invisible disabilities—with a large percentage having mental-health diagnosis, according to Kinakin. She can speak to the duty the university has to accommodate individuals with disabilities.
Contact information: 306-966-5673, maxine.kinakin@usask.ca

Youth mental health:
Name: Jack Saddleback, USSU president
Area of expertise: Saddleback has served on the Mental Health Commission of Canada's youth council, helping to create national policy on youth mental health. He has also been named one of five Faces of Mental Illness for the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health's national anti-stigma campaign.
Contact information: 306-966-6965, president@ussu.ca

USSU Help Centre:
Name: Jesse Windels
Area of expertise: Windels is a fourth-year psychology student and the co-ordinator of the USSU Peer Support/ASIST Suicide Prevention training.
Contact information: 306-966-6982

The benefits of meditation:
Name: Vicki Herman, registered psychologist and Student Counselling Services outreach co-ordinator
Area of expertise: Herman has been studying and practicing meditation for seven years and offers meditation classes for U of S students.
Contact information: 306-966-4920

Employee mental health:
Name: Raelin Bliss, Senior Wellness Specialist, Wellness Resources
Area of expertise: Bliss leads the Wellness Resources team, a division of Human Resources, which provides wellness programs, initiatives, resources and supports to help faculty and staff reach their full wellness potential. She can speak to wellness strategy, awareness and education initiatives.
Contact information: 306-966-4881 raelin.bliss@usask.ca

Addictions and mental health:
Name: Dr. Peter R. Butt, associate professor, Department of Family Medicine
Area of expertise: Dr. Butt's work focuses on addictions and he serves as a consultant to the Saskatoon Health Region. He is an expert in national low-risk drinking guidelines, national alcohol strategy, opiate addiction, methadone and suboxone therapy, IV drug use, illicit drug abuse and prescription drug abuse.
Contact information: 306-655-0452, peter.butt@usask.ca

For a list of all events taking place this week, visit students.usask.ca/health/stay-healthy.php.


To arrange an interview, contact:
James Shewaga
Media Relations Specialist
University of Saskatchewan