Mental Health Matters to CNA students

3/25/2015 3:05:30 PM

Numerous student-led activities took place during Mental Health Matters at CNA campuses around the province on March 25. CNA President and CEO Ann Marie Vaughan was on hand at Bay St. George campus to speak to students about the importance of mental health awareness.

Faculty, staff and students at all 17 College of the North Atlantic (CNA) campuses united today to show their support for an important issue which affects one in five Newfoundlanders and Labradorians – mental illness.
“Really, mental health affects all of us in one way or another,” said Elizabeth Chaulk, Associate Vice President of Student Services. “By having a day associated with mental health, we hope to increase awareness and understanding of mental illness to help create an environment where students feel safe and secure in their classroom and open enough to talk about the issues they face.”
Erin Everard, CNASU President, says their hope is that the event not only brings awareness, but helps to end the stigma associated with mental illness.
“We decided to have this event as we wanted to do something that would unify us as a college,” Everard said. “We are all in different places, studying different things, but wanted to be doing the same thing on the same day once during the year. We instantly decided to do a day of awareness around mental health.”
Everard hopes the event will help ensure every CNA student feels comfortable speaking about their experiences and challenges without facing negativity towards issues they may be dealing with in their personal lives.
“We want to affect change instead of hoping that the stigma against mental illness will just erase itself. We want anyone with a mental health issue to feel safe and secure and open enough to speak about themselves so they don't have to wage the war alone,” said Everard.
Numerous student-led activities took place during Mental Health Matters at CNA campuses around the province with the goal to reach as many students, staff and faculty members as possible with the message Mental Health Matters. In addition to information tables and videos at the campuses, the college is holding a Mental Health Matters online trivia contest for a chance to win an iPad mini, as well as encouraging people to fill out Mental Health Matters postcards at the campus and online to show why Mental Health Matters to them.
For more information about the initiative, or to join CNA in helping anyone with a mental health issue feel safe and secure in speaking out, visit Images from the college’s Mental Health Matters Day can be found on their Facebook page at
Media Contact:
Glenda McCarthy
Public Relations Specialist
College of the North Atlantic