The Creative Communications grad behind the College’s new mental health website will receive a hero’s welcome from the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) this week.
Red River College alum Meghan Franklin (CreComm, 2014) has been nominated for a Heroes of Mental Health Award by CMHA Winnipeg. Her newly-launched Mind it! website — which arrives just in time for Mental Health Awareness Week at RRC (Oct. 14-17) — is designed to help RRC students take better care of their mental health, by providing a range of online resources on everything from test anxiety and financial stress to sleep deprivation and seasonal affective disorder.
“Every student experiences challenges while balancing school, work, friends and other commitments,” says Franklin. “When we’re aware of our emotions and the state of our mental health, we’re better equipped to deal with difficult situations, to work toward our goals, and to recognize when to take a breather or ask for help.”
By the time she began the CreComm program in 2012, Franklin already completed treatment for an eating disorder, which she’d struggled with throughout high school and university. Her recovery process triggered a passion for progressing the mental health conversation, and a commitment to providing all students with a range of related supports.
As part of her second-year independent professional project (IPP), Franklin engaged fellow students about their emotional and mental health and wellbeing, creating a student club and initiative called Mind it!, which held a number of mental health awareness events on campus. By hosting art expos, dog therapy events (shown above) and stand-up comedy performances, Franklin and her team of student volunteers helped spread the word about the importance of mental health.
The Mind It! Initiative couldn’t have come at a better time, coinciding with RRC’s efforts to develop a comprehensive mental health strategy for the entire College community — one that would cultivate a supportive environment that provides a sense of well-being, belonging, connectedness and positive mental health for all.
With support from RRC, Franklin has been able to expand Mind it! into a comprehensive resource for students, by further developing the website she created for her IPP. Together with the College’s Mental Health Advisory and Web Presence teams, she’s created a website packed with articles, stories, links to community resources, and much more.
CMHA Winnipeg’s awards lunch takes place Thu., Oct. 9. The Mental Health Hero award recognizes courageous and passionate individuals who have promoted mental health awareness, and celebrates the victories of those who live with the effects of mental illness.
Update: Oct. 10, 2014
Congratulations to Franklin on winning a Heroes of Mental Health Award at the CMHA Winnipeg awards lunch on Oct. 9, 2014! Franklin was nominated for the award, which acknowledges the many contributions she’s made toward the advancement of mental health in Manitoba, by a fellow Red River College student.