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Getting Students Excited About Mental Wellness at the International College of Manitoba

Published Bernice on Tuesday, November 20, 2018

guard.me International Insurance and the keep.meSAFE Student Support Program are very pleased to celebrate their collaborative partnership with the International College of Manitoba (ICM)’s 2018 Wellness Expo.

The first annual expo, held on September 22nd, challenged students to create a business plan outlining a mental health initiative designed to engage students in the conversation around mental health and begin to break down barriers and stigmas.

Organized by Kristy Jamieson, ICM’s Student Experience Manager, the expo celebrated five finalists as they presented their plans “Dragon’s Den-style” to an audience of their peers and a panel of judges including Robert Daudet, ICM Deputy Director and Jesse Poulin, keep.meSAFE Program Manager.

“The quality of the finalist presentations was simply outstanding,” said Kristy Jamieson. “It is a testament not only to the students’ business planning skills but to their commitment to mental health amongst students in Canada.”

The top three expo winners were:

First Place $2000 Bursary: YeonJeong Kim – Arts pathway

Second Place $1000 Bursary: Rayhan Bhuyan – Science pathway

Third Place $500 Bursary: Abisola Oreoluwa Ojo – Business pathway

The expo winner YeionJeong Kim, was also given $1,500 to execute her business plan during the 2018-19 academic year. YeionJeong’s plan focused on a “Mental Health Awareness Improvement Program” aimed to promote mental health and wellness for international students, their families and community. She will achieve this through a dedicated “Mental Health Day” once a year to help students recognise the importance of mental health and wellness through a half-day programs, including Poster Slogan Contest, Game Program, and Sharing and Communication Program.

“We were truly privileged to sponsor ICM’s inaugural Wellness Expo”, said Keith Segal, Founder, and President of guard.me. “So much good comes out of opening up conversations about student mental health. When a loved one is physically ill, you talk about it and try to get them the best help available.

We should look at mental health the same way. The more we all talk openly about mental health, we can help. At guard.me that is something we’ve believed from day one, and have continued to support and promote for over 20 years.”

Supporting mental health is also nothing new for ICM. They have provided their students with 24/7 access to remote-based counselling through the keep.meSAFE Program in multiple languages and cultures since 2016. keep.meSAFE works in tandem with ICM’s health and counselling services, facilitates various types of student referrals and seamlessly integrates with existing on-campus protocols and resources. Students can connect immediately with master’s level counsellors through telephone and chat and can receive ongoing support through telephone, video and in-person.



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