Humber Literary Review debuts first themed issue on mental health

by | Feb 10, 2017 | A&E

Lindsay Newman & Chris Besik
Senior Reporters

The Humber Literary Review launched its latest edition on Wednesday with a first-time theme focus on mental health and the arts.

Mental health concerns are something that affects everyone, said Meaghan Strimas managing editor of the review and English professor, who was at the Lakeshore G space event.

“You can’t go throughout life without knowing someone who has experiences with mental health issues,” said Strimas, “I think it’s really important that we continue to talk about issues like depression or whatever it might be.”

For the edition, the publication teamed up with Humber Student Wellness & Accessibility Services and Workman Arts, an organization working to empower emerging and established artist with mental health and addiction issues.

The current issue is the sixth edition of HLR, which is created by the college’s Department of English and uses the work of an array of academics, critics and visual artists. The new HLR features contributions from Humber journalism students Brandon- Richard-Austin and Ieva Lucs.

Third-year student Austin wrote a book review of Leesa Dean’s Waiting For The Cyclone, while Lucs is a postgraduate student who contributed to the online portion of the magazine.

“The best part was being asked to write the review, because I knew it was a good opportunity to get some writing done and be published in a magazine that has a good readership,” said Austin.

Lucs’ work featured moderating an interview between two people involved in both arts and mental health.

“What I got to do was take these two amazing people who are working in the arts, and with mental health and addiction, and learn all about their program. I got to ask them questions and facilitate this conversation that they had with each other,” said Lucs.

There was a strong turnout of students and Humber faculty at the gathering, including deans and associate deans. Meg Houghton, Director of Student Access Wellness and Development, Wanda Buote, Principal of Lakeshore Campus, and Vera Beletzan, Senior Advisor on Essential Skills, were all present and spoke at the event.

Austin believes the event is important for bringing the writers and readers together.

“It gives people who work on the magazine a chance to be in the same room and communicate. It also gives you a chance to speak about your work with people who know about it,” said Austin.