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By Meredith Omstead, Co-Lead of the Jack.org Wilfrid Laurier University Chapter

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Jack Chapter joins Trivia Night to spread mental health awareness.

As the co-lead of the Jack.org chapter at Wilfrid Laurier University, I struggled with bringing the mental health conversation beyond the handful of dedicated club members. We lacked diversity in our advocacy on campus. Finding ways to include a group of people from different backgrounds was one of the topics at the National Jack Summit in 2018. And it stuck with me.

I've been part of the Jack.org Laurier team for three years. Our executive team at Jack.org Laurier was made up of mostly females, the majority who were white.  I struggled with spreading the mental health conversation beyond the handful of dedicated club members. We lacked diversity in our advocacy on campus.

It was the last semester of my undergraduate degree and I wanted to put on an event that tied more people to the mental health conversation in a fun, engaging way. I wanted to ensure the future executive team felt they had visibility from the student body after my co-lead and I graduated.

Our chapter coordinator suggested that instead of starting an idea from scratch, we should seek out existing organizations on campus and partner with them for an event. That’s when the idea clicked – trivia.

Every week, the restaurant on campus hosts a trivia night. Over 100 students, most of them very committed trivia players, show up. This was our opportunity to talk about mental health in a relaxed setting. We reached out to the event host to ask if we could incorporate a few mental health questions into the trivia and hand out our swag as prizes to the winners. He was excited about the idea and agreed to it!

The trivia night reiterated to me that every single person has mental health and it’s important to be visible to all groups in your community to help alleviate the stigma. If you are in a chapter, think about other clubs you could partner with, or existing events you could offer support to. Instead of having a complex set of plans for your event; simplify...and think about the visibility of Jack.org. As mental health advocates, we are here to make all people in our communities feel included in the mental health conversation. A revolution takes us all.