Noemi Moya, second year police foundations student, and Bianca Vasile of health services, stand in the student commons with the purple couch on Jan. 28. SA president Christina Miller says that the purple couch is something that student should know

The Purple Couch moved to the Commons on Jan. 28 to allow students to talk about mental illness and remind them to love themselves.
At their table by the SA office, Bianca Vasile of health services and Noemi Moya, second-year police foundations student, had purple postcards and a mailbox with the couch, where students could write a positive message to have sent to themselves.
“I think the stigma that still lingers is that when you have mental illness, it’s obvious,” said Moya. “It isn’t, it rarely is. So many students go without saying a word.”
The purple couch team will be promoting Mental Health Awareness week from Feb. 23 to Feb. 27. The purple couch initiative was launched Oct. 15.
It operates at all three Algonquin campuses with the objective to improve awareness and reduce stigma. It is in partnership with The Royal Ottawa Hospital, the Ottawa Senators and Do it For Daron. “This is something that students should know about and that they’re not alone,” said Christina Miller, SA president.
“As a student who battles with mental illness, it is the weight of the world being lifted when someone understands.”
The postcard initiative, coincidently fell on Bell Let’s Talk day. Bell donated over $6.1-million to mental health initiatives, and #BellLetsTalk was the number one trending topic in Canada and worldwide with over four million tweets made.
On Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell donates five cents for each tweet and social media share made using the hashtag #BellLetsTalk, as well as a donation for each call and text made by Bell Canada and Bell Aliant customers.
“One day, I hope that mental illness will be looked at like breaking an arm, it sucks, it’s painful, it’s real. But one day, no matter how long or short, you will heal,” said the SA president.
Algonquin currently offers many crisis and counselling services to address mental illness and provides a safe and open environment for students in need.
In addition to this, information about the resources that the college offers can be found on their website.