U of T launches first mental health magazine

Publication coincides with Bell Let's Talk day

Tuesday night, on the eve of Bell’s national #BellLetsTalk event to end the stigma surrounding mental health, the University of Toronto Scarborough had a launch party for a new online magazine: Minds Matter Magazine.

MMM_eBanner-for-MMM.com_620x340-620x340The online magazine, which opened to the public last Thursday, has aims similar to the Bell campaign.

Bell Let’s talk is a movement dedicated to reducing and eventually ending the stigma surrounding mental health, citing that the stigma is one of the biggest hurdles people struggle with. For every Tweet with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk, Bell donates five cents to their charity.

Minds Matter Magazine (MMM) is the premiere mental health magazine at the University of Toronto. It is created for students, by students, and includes a wide range of content, from advice for coping with anxiety, depression and ADHD in a lecture hall, to how to get help on campus, to how this generation defines mental health. They publish new content online bi-weekly.

“The timing of our launch was definitely a coincidence. ‘Bell let’s talk’ day really complemented our launch. Both are really important mediums,” said Karen Young, founder and editor in chief of MMM, in an interview following the event. The more mediums that talk about mental health the better. I think the more mediums and channels that talk about mental health, the more we humanize the perception of mental health.”

The night began with opening remarks from Young, who is in her final year of study in Mental Health Studies. She introduced Dean Rick Halpern, chief administrative officer Andrew Arifuzzaman and the chair of the department of psychology, George Cree, who spoke highly of Young’s ambition and passion, and the determination they saw from her on her mission to get this project off the ground.

“What’s unique about our magazine is that it taps into networks and topics that no one else has really thought about,” Young said. “We’re trying to connect with people in human ways, and enrich the conversation around mental health.”

A panel was featured with distinguished department heads speaking about how mental health impacts their respective fields of study.

Jeffrey Dvorkin, program director and lecturer of the university’s journalism program, spoke about the importance of recovery programs for journalists going into potentially traumatizing situations, who could develop Post-Traumatoc Stress Disorder.

“What was really interesting is that Jeffrey Dvorkin’s wife is a psychologist,” Young said. “That made me think about… Everyone has a connection to mental health. This project has no boundaries. Anyone can get involved.”

Other academics spoke about the stigma surrounding getting help, and commended the importance of breaking down barriers.

“It offers content that catters to that specific age group, 13–24, the most at-risk age range in all Canada,” said Young.

For more information visit the website at http://mindsmattermagazine.com/