St. Mary’s College has joined a national program to paint Canada yellow for student mental health. The Sault Ste. Marie high school is working with the Lucas Fiorella Friendship Bench and launched the #YellowIsForHello mental health awareness program on campus with the unveiling of one of the organization’s iconic yellow benches Wednesday.
With suicide now the second-leading cause of death among Canadians aged 15 to 34, developing a culture of openness around student mental health has never been more important. The #YellowIsForHello program will help St. Mary’s foster an environment where students are free to talk and learn about mental health. That in turn increases awareness, reduces stigma, and will see more students who may be suffering in silence get the help they need before it’s too late.
“By joining the #YellowIsForHello program, the school is making a powerful commitment to students that says we care about you, we care about your mental health.”
“We are thrilled to be part of this initiative. Student mental well-being is a top priority for us at St. Mary’s College. The Friendship Bench will complement our variety of student mental health supports in a very unique and very visible way,” added Cindy Sawyer, Principal of St. Mary’s College.
“The St. Mary’s College IMPACT team (Inspire and Motivate Peers to be Active Compassionate Teens) is committed to raising awareness for the well- being of the students in our community. The Friendship Bench will serve as a visible reminder of our school’s commitment to creating a safe, healthy place for all,” said Adriano Carota, Guidance Counsellor and IMPACT mentor at St. Mary’s College.
“It is an honour to be one of 11 schools to adopt the #YellowIsForHello program in Canada.”
The Fiorella Friendship Bench is the latest in a number of student mental health initiatives to be put into practice at St. Mary’s College.