The Friendship Bench Blog

news, events and support

Mental Health Conversation Starter – #YellowIsForHello

We’ve often shared the statistic reported by many organizations and government agencies that some 50% of those suffering with depression remain silent about their struggles, and so it’s no wonder that suicide seems to be the only way out to some. If we don’t have the...

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Dancing Reduces Anxiety and Depression in Students

Break dance? Belly dance? Ballet? Ballroom? Doesn’t matter – the results are in and be with a pair of two left feet or otherwise, dance has been proven to improve your overall mood and your mental health. A meta-analysis of 23 international studies on the effects of...

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Knitting Your Way to Mental Health

Many young men are reportedly discovering the art of knitting - and it's a good thing (to quote Martha Stewart). Many will criticize this as "just another hipster fad" but whatever the reason for this trend, I'm thankful for it. And no, I’m not putting out a call for...

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Failing Expectations – My Journey

Growing up, there was one driving expectation my parents – like all other Traditionalists and Boomers at the time - placed on me: Go to university, graduate, and become a successful, well-paid professional. There was no discussion or consideration of not going to a...

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The Power of HELLO – for #WorldHelloDay

Today is #WorldHelloDay and so I thought it only appropriate that today’s #MentalHealthMonday post focus on the power of “hello.” “Hello” is more than the utterance of simple greeting. In a world that’s engulfed in conflict and divisiveness, a HELLO represents an...

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The Power of Music on Students’ Mental Health

Music can have a physical affect your body; music can help decrease emotional distress and amplify a variety of moods.  It’s said that music is one of the few activities that involves using the majority or entirety of the human brain. It can have the same effects of a...

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The Friendship Bench Launches at Trent University

This week we were honoured to be welcomed at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. After almost six months of planning, the team at Trent Central Student Association, led by its President Alaine Spiwak, hosted an uplifting celebration for the students to...

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Mental Health Tip – Parents: Listen First, Fix Second

For this week's #MentalHealthMonday tip, I want to talk to parents directly. As parents, we tend to want to build walls around our kids, to encase them in bubble wrap, and to protect them at all costs. However, we’ve learned that kids must learn from their mistakes...

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A Case for Social Connectedness and Student Mental Health

We often talk about the importance of good diet and exercise in the maintenance of good mental health in school; however, building and maintain social connections is just as important. And that's this week's #MentalHealthMonday Tip. A Case for Social Connectedness and...

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