It’s that time again, when the end of the academic year looms on the horizon, when midterms, papers, and projects pile up. It’s understandable that stress levels are starting to increase; grumpiness is almost inevitable at this point of the year.
But if you were at the Abbotsford campus this past Wednesday, then it’s quite possible that you saw a group of students under a canopy just outside Tim Hortons. Those students were members of the mental health awareness club (MHAC), and they were hosting their first ever Create-A-Vision event in the spring sunshine. The event, which involved the creation of several, simple collages from magazine pictures, allowed students to express their more creative sides; after all, it’s not every day you can superimpose Robert Downey Jr.’s face on top of picture of Halle Berry.
Create-A-Vision was part of MHAC’s ongoing campaign to allow students to relieve stress levels at this crucial point of the semester. According to MHAC president, Harshraj Sidhu, Create-A-Vision is all about getting students to relax. “It’s about de-stressing, getting creative, making a collage — it kind of gives them a break from school.”
He then went on to add that they’d purposely chosen collage making as it is a simple activity. “It’s a nice way to relax; you don’t have to do too much thinking. All you have to do is cut and paste.”
The MHAC’s event is part of a series brought to UFV through the Yellow Umbrella Project, a national campaign to bring mental health support to post-secondary institutions. “The umbrella represents shelter, and the yellow colour represents happiness,” Sidhu says. “Pretty much creating a happy environment for people to come and talk under, and not having to worry about the stigmas around mental health. Because we all understand.”
So next time you’re starting to feel stressed out by school, keep an eye out for a bright yellow umbrella — there’ll almost certainly be students nearby who can offer a sympathetic ear and help you relax for a moment.