How’s your mental health today? AC Purple Couch wants to know

Algonquin College's Purple Couch Project encourages students to speak out about mental health.
Peer support workers Shelina Syed and Harrison sat on the purple couch in D-building.

The AC Purple Couch Project made its third appearance since the start of winter term in D-building on Thursday, Jan. 25, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. just outside of the Marketplace Food Court during Mental Health Awareness week.

The project is a safe space that aims to spread awareness about mental illness amongst students on campus as well as provide resources to support them throughout their college experience.

The project was inspired by the “Do It For Daron” (DIFD) movement and has become a significant part of Algonquin College’s support services which is accessible to all students.

Whenever the AC Purple Couch is seen, students are encouraged to sit down on the couch and talk, share or even start a conversation about mental health with the peer workers and mental health professionals that are stationed around.

The event featured a whiteboard shaped as a speech bubble that has a question or a prompt written down in hopes that it will strike a conversation with students walking by.

“I think it’s a great way to engage students, because you just see a couch randomly in a hallway and you’re like, ‘what the heck is happening?’ “said Shelina Syed, a peer support worker at the Health and Wellness Zone and a student in the bachelor of early learning and community development program.

“Mental health is a topic here on campus that Algonquin really tries to communicate and express, that we need to break the stigma around it,” Syed said, “so the Purple Couch also offers an opportunity as an initiative for that.”

Right beside the couch, there was a table with a variety of pamphlets and cards full of resources that students are welcome to grab. Some of the resources included: WeConnect, Good2Talk, an AC Purple Couch activity book full of exercises and much more. The event also provided pins and other trinkets for students to take.

The AC Purple Couch website provides resources that can be found around campus like: AC Counseling Services and AC Health Services, as well as other resources.

“I think that’s a great idea to help people,” said Noah Charbonneau, a first-year game development student. “Whether it be pretty much anything that is going on in their lives or just to sit down and talk to someone.”

The AC Purple Couch Project event is hosted every Thursday. You can catch the next couch sighting on Feb. 1st, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Nawapon, in the C-building.

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