NewsHumber students spoke during Let’s Talk dialogue

Christian AguirreFebruary 13, 20195 min
Motivational speaker Donovan McKenzie speaks at the Humber College Bell Let’s Talk event at Humber College’s North campus on Feb. 6. (Christian Fernando Aguirre)

Christian Fernando Aguirre, News Reporter

Humber College participated in Bell Let’s Talk day by hosting a mental health dialogue at North Campus last Wednesday.

The Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre, who hosted the event invited “Heart Of A Man” founder and motivational speaker Donovan McKenzie.

McKenzie founded HOAM to promote mental health awareness and help men with depression and anxiety.

He told the audience about his own experiences with his mental health issues, including his depression diagnosis and his struggles in opening up.

“I was told I have to keep quiet; when I saw my therapist and I had my little baby boy, it inspired me to open up,” McKenzie said. “I decided I can be vulnerable and share and maybe I can even help one man out there speak up,”

He told the crowd that his goal is to help change societies view on manhood and male depression.

Free Bell Let’s Talk hats being given out at North campus during the Feb. 6 event. (Christian Fernando Aguirre)

After his speech members of the audience asked McKenzie questions about mental health.

Registered nurse Dana Dwyer, who works at the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre and helped plan the mental health dialogue, said she wanted to make sure Humber did its part for Bell Let’s Talk Day.

“It’s very important to get the conversation open so that people know about our services that are available to them and to normalize and know that there are other people who are struggling with the same things in regards to mental health,” Dwyer said.

She said Humber partnered with Bell Let’s Talk because the college values the importance of mental health awareness and wants to focus on having a healthy campus.

Dwyer said students in a mental health crisis are welcome to visit the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre at the second floor of the LRC.

“We have nurses and doctors on site, we have counseling services were students can access appointments with a registered physiotherapist,” Dwyer said.