Eating disorders, depression, stress and anxiety are not new problems and they certainly aren't unique to Queen's. But as a tight-knit community, mental health awareness and support among our classmates has become very important on campus.
That's why we at the Commerce Society (ComSoc) chose to support mental health awareness this year through Queen's Wears Green.
I've been involved in many ComSoc groups in various roles, but I'm most excited about the positive change I made this year as an Outreach Commissioner.
As Commissioners, my colleagues and I organize philanthropic initiatives for students in Commerce and across Queen's. Last year, the Commissioners launched Queen's Wears Pink, raising awareness and funds for breast cancer research at Queen's. The project engaged hundreds of students and started meaningful conversations. It was so well received that we wanted to continue the momentum.
This year, the focus is on mental health awareness.
As a diabetic, I know that scientific research will advance the understanding and treatment of diabetes, helping me live a healthier life. I believe the same is possible with mental health illnesses.
But there is a stigma limiting our conversations about and research of mental health illnesses. The Queen's Wears Green project aims to create dialogue and make it easier for Queen's students to seek help when they need it, or when they see a friend or classmate in distress.
We publicized a one-day event encouraging students to wear green on November 14 and sold branded t-shirts, raising over $1,000 for campus mental health initiatives. Wearing green represented that we are comfortable discussing mental health.
We shared the mental health resources available at Queen's and hosted a rally with speakers, including research experts and people whose lives have been touched by mental health illnesses.
I know that we helped to educate Queen's students and staff about mental health, and encouraged meaningful dialogue. Maybe we even helped save someone's life.
In addition to the lessons I've learned in the classroom, through ComSoc I've gained project management experience and have learned to work in a team – including understanding when to lead and when to encourage others to lead.
But most importantly, thanks to the opportunities available at Queen's made possible by donors like you, I've been able to take initiative and create change through projects that I am passionate about, like Queen's Wears Green.
I have learned that just as one student can make a difference, one donor can make a difference. But we can't do it without you. Please add your support with a gift to the QSB Dean's Innovation Fund today to make our student experience the best it can be, and help support important leadership opportunities for all School of Business students.
Yours in thanks,
Warren Duncan, Commerce'12