SAIT Trojans got loud for mental health awareness campaign

On the weekend of Jan. 31, Trojan athletes got loud to raise awareness for mental health as they launched their first-ever Make Some Noise campaign.

Over a period of three days, the Trojans promoted the campaign at nine home games for men’s and women’s volleyball, hockey and indoor track.

“We had a mobile pep rally on campus earlier in the week to launch the campaign,” said Billie Rae Busby, marketing and communications co-ordinator for the SAIT Trojans.

“Nearly 25 SAIT student athletes and staff members noisily walked around campus with cowbells and thunder sticks.

“We certainly caught everyone’s attention,” Busby said.

The department also partnered with a non-profit organization called Student Athlete Mental Health Initiative (SAMHI) to encourage student athletes to start talking openly about mental health.

“We tried several different ways to promote mental health awareness at the games, including showing a short video called “Mental Health Doesn’t Care” by SAMHI on our big screens and webcasts,” said Busby.

The campaign promotes the message that everyone is affected by mental health and that students do not have to deal with it alone.

SAIT also offers a variety of counselling services to  students free of charge.

During the campaign, the Trojans also set up a resource table that included information about SAIT services, as well as other resources available to students around the city.

The campaign was intended to get people talking about mental health in a non-intimidating way.

“We also had a lot of fun with the campaign, as showcased with the in-game contests in which fans were asked to try various yoga poses or a race to see which contestants could inflate their thunder sticks the fastest,” said Busby.

Some student athletes wore campaign t-shirts that featured a logo designed by one of SAIT second-year new media production and design student Becca Gould.

“For a pilot program, we are very pleased with the feedback from fans and student-athletes,” said Busby.

“We already have a lot of ideas for next year. We hope to pitch the idea to other post-secondary athletic programs so we can grow the awareness about mental health, especially for student-athletes,” she added.

For more information about SAMHI, click here.

About Jaimee Turner 4 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Jaimee Turner is working as a reporter for The Press during the 2014-2015 academic year.