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Sunshine Coast campus celebrates Pink Shirt Day and promotes social inclusion

Sunshine Coast campus celebrates Pink Shirt Day and promotes social inclusion

The negative effects of bullying on mental health and emotional well-being are generally widely understood. What is gaining greater recognition is the importance of social inclusion to students’ ability to learn and succeed in educational environments. Social inclusion is when all people feel valued and a part of their community and their differences are respected. In a post-secondary education institution, these positive relationships with peers, instructors and staff contribute to academic success. Healthy connections can help students manage the stress that comes with assignments, exams and in-class presentations.
The increase in the stresses and pressures experienced by students has been well documented as has the resulting increase in levels of depression, anxiety, risky substance use behaviours and other signs of mental distress. One of the main signs of depression and anxiety is isolation, either through avoidance of social situations, loss of enjoyment in activities or lack of energy or ability to organize. It becomes harder for students to maintain those good relationships or they may be choosing less healthy social connections. Student mental health is on the agenda of almost every post-secondary education institution across Canada. Student counsellors are available on most campuses and are part of a continuum of student support services that give rise to healthy minds and a healthy campus.
Capilano University has a range of initiatives to support students’ mental health and success. At our Sunshine Coast campus, we have an office dedicated to providing student support including career planning, individual counselling and student success workshops. We have also joined with six other universities and colleges across the province in a two-year project. Funded by Canadian Mental Health Association and Centre for Addiction Research-BC, we will be developing our local capacity while contributing to the development of a provincial support infrastructure for healthy campuses. We will also be participating in Pink Shirt Day with activities on campus that include screenings, discussions and classroom presentations aimed at promoting a socially inclusive campus.
To find out more about our Pink Shirt Day activities, to book your appointment for academic advising or if you are a student needing to access our Sunshine Coast campus student support services call 604-885-9310.

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