Jan. 24, 2020
For Immediate Release
Waterloo – Bell Let’s Talk Day, taking place Jan. 29, is an annual event designed to raise awareness and encourage conversations about mental health. Parallel to Let's Talk Day, Wilfrid Laurier University will be running its sixth Thrive Week, a series of free events designed to build positive mental health, from Jan. 26 to 31.
Media are welcome to attend a talk by Ryan Martin, an alumnus who cycled across Canada and raised $120,000 for the Canadian Mental Health Association; Chilling with Dogs; the Wellness Recharge Space; and a Careers in Mental Health panel discussion. Visit the Wellness Centre’s webpage for more information.
Several Laurier experts are available to comment about mental health:
Heidi Ahonen is a professor of music therapy, registered psychotherapist and accredited music therapist. She is an expert on music therapy and its potential to improve the lives of those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological trauma. Ahonen has worked with traumatized individuals, including refugees, using clinical improvisation, guided imagery and music. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Danielle Law, associate professor in Laurier’s Youth and Children’s Studies and Psychology programs, is an expert on cyberbullying, associated mental health concerns and responsible Internet use. Law’s research examines how children and adolescents develop cognitively and socio-emotionally as they interact and socialize using technologies. Contact: email@example.com.
Magnus Mfoafo-M’Carthy is an associate professor in the Faculty of Social Work. He is an expert on community mental health, especially mental health and stigma in immigrant communities and treatment options for individuals with mental illness in the community. Prior to joining Laurier, Mfoafo-M’Carthy served as community treatment order coordinator at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, assisting individuals with serious mental illnesses. Contact: 519.884.0710 x5238 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Woodford, an associate professor in Laurier’s Faculty of Social Work, is an expert on the mental health and well-being of LGBTQ2S+ youth. Woodford’s research explores how discrimination can increase LGBTQ2S+ youth's risk for poor mental health and other negative outcomes, as well as the factors that can foster resilience to discrimination. Woodford is leading the Thriving on Campus Study, a province-wide survey exploring the experiences, mental health and academic success of LGBTQ2S+ university students in Ontario. Contact: 519.998.4514 or email@example.com.
Carolyn FitzGerald, assistant professor in Laurier’s Faculty of Education, is an expert in mental health in education. FitzGerald’s research focuses on ways educators can offer effective programs to support the development of inclusive classrooms for Ontario’s children and youth. FitzGerald is also the coordinator of Laurier’s Mental Health Issues in the Classroom certificate. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 519.884.0710 x4198.
Maritt Kirst is an assistant professor in the Community Psychology program and an assistant professor (status-only) at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Kirst is an expert on mental health, addictions and homelessness, with a particular interest in making community-based health care and social services more accessible to vulnerable populations. Contact: email@example.com or 519.884.0710 x3077.
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