World Mental Health Day


World Mental Health Day is observed internationally on October 10. 

Days of Action observes this day during the week of October 10-13, 2023, at North Campus, Campus Saint-Jean, and Augustana. This internationally recognized day's overall objectives involve raising awareness of mental health worldwide and mobilizing efforts to support mental health. This day encourages us to provide space to talk about mental health and advocate for the additional needs of others around the world so mental health care can become a reality for everyone.

Mental Health: #LightUpPurple

We all need to care for mental health, which may include caring for a mental illness. With or without a diagnosed mental illness, we all have mental health that fluctuates and needs care at different periods during our lives. What this looks like will vary, but we all deserve safe and accessible support that meets our diverse needs and experiences. 

It’s normal for mental health to decline, but it can be difficult to share that with trusted folks around us, preventing us from getting the help we need and prolonging suffering. Join us as we cooperate with #LightUpPurple, a national campaign focused on the importance of talking with friends, family, and colleagues about our mental health. #LightUpPurple and let folks around you know that talking about mental health is important to you.

Various buildings and offices will be lit up purple to observe #LightUpPurple. 

World Mental Health Day Events

More events on campus 

Caring for our mental health

Mental health looks different for each of us, so it’s necessary to acknowledge intersectional experiences. An intersectional lens means experiencing mental health through various social identities. Care practices vary according to these identities. It also reminds us that diverse circumstances influence how we experience mental health, necessitating diverse supports.

Student Led Mental Health Groups

Mental Health Supports

Health & Wellness Supports

What can you do?

Here are a few suggestions for simple actions that can help foster positive mental health.

Connect with Others

One way we can care for our mental health is to maintain connections with others. Connecting with others can boost meaning and purpose, reduce stress, and foster a sense of belonging. 

 Reach out, even when it’s the last thing you feel you want to do. 

Listen to others

It’s far too common to answer, “I’m fine, thanks,” even when it isn’t true. How many of us repeat this when asked, “how are you?” because we don’t believe the asker really wants to know. Let’s be a campus that lets each other know that we want to know - and will make space for the real answer.    

Taking a moment to listen in those moments can provide opportunities to support each other through difficult times, which can help us get help when we need it.

Listening is a skill that we can all develop with practice. You can take free training through Wellness Supports at the University of Alberta: How to Have a Supportive Conversation.


Mindfulness is an invitation to step out of the clutter and really focus on what we are doing, thinking, and feeling in this moment. It’s a skill developed by deciding to slow down and taking the time to pay attention and be curious about things that we’re experiencing and things that we see around us. 

Research shows that mindfulness can help improve well-being and quality of life. It can help people reduce stress and anxiety, manage symptoms of some mental illnesses and substance use problems, and also improve physical health.

There are many different ways you can practice Mindfulness, from formal sessions to a short check-in with yourself on the way home from class. There is no right or wrong way; what you experience is what you experience. Here are some quick mindfulness techniques suggested by the CMHA, which you can practice anywhere:  

  • Eat a meal without distractions like TV or any other devices. Pay attention to what you’re eating and the different sensations that come up, and notice how it makes you feel.
  • Go for a walk on campus and set out to really pay attention to the environment around you using all your senses. What do you experience?
  • Talk with a friend face-to-face without any distractions like phones. Focus on the conversation and really listen without judgments or expectations. Notice how you feel. Check in with yourself at any time. What thoughts do you notice? How do they make you feel?
  • Take a minute to sit quietly and focus on the sensation of your breath.  When you find yourself distracted by a thought, acknowledge the thought and redirect your attention back to your breath.

With practice and dedication, we can “remodel” our brains in ways that can help us function better—known as neuroplasticity. 

Mindfulness traditions and research shows that meditation can cause physical changes in the brain. The more mindful we become, the more our brain adapts to make it our default state.

Join us for a Mindfulness Walk on October 12, noon - 1 p.m. Register

Mindfulness resources

Ask For Help

Acknowledge how you’re doing and let trusted friends or family know. Being open with others will let them know how they can help you. Asking for help can include visiting campus services you are familiar with and letting them know you need support. 

There may be times when you know your mental health needs support, but you’re not sure where to go. There is a wealth of support available on campus that can support a variety of your needs: