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August 6, 2018 | by  | in Presidential Address |
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Presidential Address

Last Tuesday eight students, including myself, sat down around a table and had a chat about our mental health. It wasn’t a group counselling session, but rather a discussion and then decision to finally do something about this issue. You probably hear about “mental health” a lot. One of the things I can’t stand is how it’s been turned into a political issue, a vote-gatherer or a like-getter. Sometimes I get a bit frustrated and just think, “they’re talking about my head!”
A lot has been promised in this area. Every party has a policy, and every politician has an opinion. The fact is we, as young people and as tauira, have a pretty good idea of how our own brains work, so it’s time we make that known.
Campaigning and taking action can feel a bit scary, but it’s easy if we do it together. Think about every conversation you’ve had about mental health, whether that be around the stigma, about your own personal mental health, or maybe just about those gosh darn waiting times. Think about all your mates who’ve cried on your shoulder, and all your mates’ shoulders that you’ve cried on. Realize that poor mental health and wellbeing is not a political issue at all, it’s a community issue, and if we’re going to solve it we’re going to have to do it as a community.
Over the next couple weeks we’re going to be meeting with community leaders and students and organizing to make our voices heard to our elected representatives. They’re talking about our wellbeing, our mental health, and our minds. It’s time we reclaim that and make it clear that any decision that’s being made must have a student focus as well. We’ve been waiting for change for years, but now the wait is over.

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