In efforts to increase conversation and education surrounding mental illness, the Student Union Society (SUS) has announced that Margaret Trudeau will be speaking at UFV on Jan. 10.
Over the past year SUS has worked to increase events and support for students regarding mental illness on campus, and saw this as a way to continue those initiatives.
“Margaret Trudeau is a Canadian icon who is admired for her courage in publicly sharing her personal experiences of living with bipolar disorder,” SUS president Sukhi Brar said. “Her advocacy efforts aim to reduce the social stigma of mental illness. With the SUS’ focus on health and wellness initiatives and mental health awareness this year, we believed bringing Margaret Trudeau onto campus was a great way to kick off some of the programming we have planned for next semester.”
As part of the SUS Health and Wellness Advocacy Initiative, the event is one of many that SUS is launching in the new semester that will address education surrounding mental health.
“The results from a health survey conducted in March 2016 (over 400 UFV students responded to the survey) revealed that there is a need for mental health literacy and education on health and wellness topics on our campus,” Brar said. “There are still widely held misconceptions about mental illness and general health and wellness. Events like this help to educate UFV students on these topics.”
An error in the booking of a keynote speaker for an event SUS hosted last year came as a blessing in disguise when it resulted in the agency attempting to make up for it by offering a discounted rate for this term.
“I had reached out to a booking agency to procure a keynote speaker for a SUS event last year and a logistical error on the part of the agency resulted in a dropped booking,” Brar explained. “Earlier this year, the booking agency reached out to get an understanding of the type of advocacy work that was prioritized for the 2016-2017 term and recommended Margaret Trudeau at a rate that we could afford.”
Although tickets for the event only became available earlier this week, Brar noted that excitement is already building.
“Based on student comments on social media and emails submitted to the Student Union Society, the UFV community is very excited about this event,” she said.