In a unique way to fend off the winter blues, Lethbridge College welcomed Archie’s Angels Rabbit Rescue to give students an opportunity to snuggle with some furry friends on blue Monday.
To some, the third Monday of January is the saddest day of the entire year.
However, according to health promotions coordinator Lori Harasem, there isn’t any validity to that claim.
“There is no evidence that today is the most depressing day of the year,” said Harasem. “Ironically it was actually started by a travel agency years ago, and I mean obviously it isn’t a great time of year for a lot of people and for very valid reasons.
“That includes, there’s a lot more isolation in winter because of the cold, people aren’t really going outside, but also not going outside we aren’t being exposed to the sun which has a lot of positive effects on our body.
“So, a lot of people are probably not feeling as excited and happy as their usual selves this time of year, but Blue Monday itself is actually a little bit of a fallacy.”
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Harasem shared that with the cold weather, many people might be left with feelings of sadness or a lack of motivation or energy.
However, despite the misconception of Blue Monday, it’s still a good day to remind people to keep their mental health a priority.
As David Gabert, the engagement and communication lead with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) explains, there are many factors that can impact someone’s mental wellbeing.
“One of the things we’ve seen, especially in the last year is the cost of living has gone up, and we know that has an effect on mental health,” Gabert said. “It’s hard to make time to find those resources, to find those supports, and it’s very concerning, very impactful to be worried about things like housing, food, utilities, whatever that might be and there are resources that are out there, so we encourage people to reach out.”
He went on to share that there are local resources, like the local distress lines available in Lethbridge 24/7 at 403-327-7905 or the Crisis Intervention Team Triage line at 403-381-1116.
In November, CMHA launched a nationwide suicide prevention line, 9-8-8, to help those in need. Meanwhile, Lethbridge College launched a similar program for their students.
“We have done a suicide prevention strategy at the college based on something called life promotion, which is using Indigenous ways of knowing,” explained Harasem. “So, we’ve had students engaging with students for the past year about what things on campus fit under the pillars of life promotion and one of the things that came out very highly and regularly is that students love animals.”
Which is why the Lethbridge College Student Association wanted to bring in additional opportunities for students to connect with some furry friends.
So, whether it’s hanging out with a pet, reaching out to local supports, or asking for help, there are many resources available for people to keep their mental health in check.
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