Campaign for awareness

ComSoc to launch Queen's Wears Green initative for mental health

Commerce Society President Kelsey Paterson (left) and Commerce Society Outreach Co-Commissioners Warren Duncan (centre) and Rachel Williams hope the event will raise $10,000.
Commerce Society President Kelsey Paterson (left) and Commerce Society Outreach Co-Commissioners Warren Duncan (centre) and Rachel Williams hope the event will raise $10,000.

A three-week campaign for mental health awareness on campus will launch Monday.

Student-run initiative Queen’s Wears Green is run through the Commerce Society (ComSoc).

“The cause of mental health was chosen because we felt it spoke to students within the Queen’s community,” said ComSoc president Kelsey Paterson. “In light of events that have happened in recent Queen’s history, we wanted to dispel the stigma surrounding mental health.”

ComSoc Outreach Co-Commissioner Rachel Williams said instead of having the same event each year, ComSoc chose to modify the issue on a yearly basis according to what is pertinent to student life.

“We decided to change it to Queen’s Wears Blank so every year what will happen is that a new cause will be chosen and a new colour will be picked,” Williams, Comm ’12, said.

Last year was the first time that ComSoc facilitated a university-wide fundraising event with Queen’s Wears Pink.

The event sold 1,500 t-shirts and fundraised over $6,000 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. This year, ComSoc aims to surpass $10,000 for the Canadian Mental Health Association and the Jack Project, a project that collaborates with Kids Help Phone.

ComSoc will be selling $10 t-shirts in the ARC and Goodes Hall until Nov. 4. The t-shirts are produced by Oil Thigh Designs and will bear the campaign slogan. Williams said 17 groups on campus have already purchased personalized t-shirts.

“It’s just going to keep building as we keep going,” she said.

So far, more than 650 t-shirt orders have been placed. ComSoc Outreach Co-Commissioner Warren Duncan said varsity sports teams, like volleyball, rugby and soccer, have signed up for t-shirts.

“We’ll be at a number of varsity sports games where the varsity teams will wear the shirts during warm up and we’ll be taking pictures of that,” Duncan, Comm ’12, said.

Duncan said he consulted Health, Counselling and Disability Services about holding an event for mental health and staff was supportive of the idea.

“They haven’t provided a lot of involvement, which we’re happy with because we want it to be a very student-run initiative,” he said.

Queen’s Wears Green will end with a rally in the Athletics and Recreation Centre on Nov. 4 that will include a small breakfast and speakers including Founder of the Jack Project Eric Windeler, CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association Lorne Zon, and a performance from campus drama group Existere.

“We want it to be an uplifting kind of morning,” he said.

Duncan said he hopes the campaign will reduce the stigma surrounding mental health.

“We really want mental health not to be this thing that students shy away from speaking about,” Duncan said. “We want to bring it right to the forefront.”

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