SAIT Trojans receive national award for mental health campaign
The SAIT Trojans have been recognized nationally for encouraging conversations and raising awareness about mental health.
The Trojans' Make Some Noise for Mental Health campaign - a pilot project led by SAIT student-athletes - was honoured with the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Community Services Award at the Hall of Fame Banquet in Fredericton, NB, last week.
This is the fourth time — a record — the SAIT Trojans have won the Community Services Award for programs through the Trojans Outreach Program.
"Mental health is something that affects each and every one of us — from feeling anxious or overwhelmed to a more serious mental illness," says Billie Rae Busby, Marketing and Communications Coordinator for the SAIT Trojans. "Student-athletes in particular face additional pressure with learning how to cope with wins and loses while taking a full course load, so it made sense for them to lead the charge."
In addition to promoting mental health resources and support available at SAIT, the campaign also included a campus wide pep rally and a weekend of athletic events with noisemakers and contests all promoting mental health awareness.
Mark Pretzlaff, Director of SAIT's Athletics and Recreation department, says he's very proud of the Trojans team for their dedication to mental health awareness.
"This award recognizes the commitment of our coaches and student-athletes not only to athletic excellence, but also community citizenship," says Mark Pretzlaff, Director of SAIT's Athletics and Recreation department. "It is a testament that being involved in sports can teach young people the skills and values they need to be good citizens and role models."
The Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference plans to adopt the SAIT Trojans campaign next season as a conference wide initiative.
The Make Some Noise for Mental Health campaign was one initiative hosted across SAIT campus during January and February - an often stressful time of year for students. The SAIT Students' Association spread out across campus with giveaways, the Happy movie was shown in the atrium on Blue Monday, and Student Development and Counselling launched a 28 Days of Happiness email campaign to spread positive ideas around the student body.