Students sit in groups at tables while talking amongst themselves.

Humber College students connected with their peers and made new friends along the way at the kickoff to Humber Let’s Talk, a week dedicated to mental health awareness and action.

The kickoff event on Monday, January 22 was held in the Learning Resource Commons at North Campus. Students grabbed a free snack and enjoyed music while taking part in several activities designed to foster connection, which was the theme for this year’s Humber Let’s Talk week.

Humber Let’s Talk is part of a wider emphasis at the College to support the wellness of its community members. In 2022, Humber released its Well-being Strategy to guide its commitment to prioritize health and well-being in all aspects of campus culture. The holistic approach to community well-being focuses on physical, mental, social and financial health, and advocates healthy behaviours by providing accessible and inclusive programs and services.

One of the most popular events at the Humber Let’s Talk kickoff was speed friending. It had groups of students sitting down at a table with other students to interact and make new friends. There were a series of questions provided to help get the conversation flowing and many of the students who took part left with new connections.

Manpreet Kaur, who’s studying Business - Accounting, did the speed friending and had a great time.  

“I love meeting new people and all the people I met are so nice,” said Kaur. “Events like these help a lot when it comes to meeting new people and forming friendships.”

Bachelor of Science - Nursing student Sunita Lopchan was part of the same speed friending group as Kaur. Lopchan met new people and also was introduced to students from different programs than Bachelor of Science - Nursing, which Lopchan said was interesting.

“I’m glad I came out,” said Lopchan.

Following the speed friending session, Kaur, Lopchan and the others in the group headed over to take group pictures at the Photo Booth.

Students also checked out the Photo Voice project display. It’s a photo voice research project exploring the well-being and mental health of Humber learners that featured a series of photos that were a visual representation of the individual’s state of mental well-being.

A smiling person stands next to a sign that reads Humber Let’s Talk.

Ewnet Demisse, a health promotion specialist with Student Success and Engagement at Humber, said it was important to help build community through the kickoff and other events slated throughout the week. Demisse noted that connecting with others and hearing their stories can be powerful by letting individuals know that they’re not alone in what they’re experiencing. Having a peer group and friends can also help make the post-secondary experience more rewarding, added Demisse.

Humber Let’s Talk continues on January 24 with a talk by Michelle Chubb, who goes by Indigenous_Baddie on Instagram and Tiktok. Chubb will share her experiences and perspectives on mental health. The audience will have an opportunity to ask questions and connect as part of a meet-and-greet. The talk will run from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Student Centre.

A hand holds up a card with information on it about Humber Let’s Talk.

Also happening on January 24 is a Connection Fair in the E Concourse from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. There will be free food, prizes and more as students explore the various services available to support their holistic well-being while engaging in activities that foster connection.

The week closes with a virtual student panel discussion on Thursday, January 25 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. It will feature diverse perspectives on mental health from fellow students sharing their stories, experiences and insights.

Those interested in attending any of the events are asked to pre-register.