The Baron is hosting a weekly series introducing readers to the clubs and societies on campus here at UNB Saint John.
Kreating Conversations is an organization at UNBSJ that aims to provide a safe and secure atmosphere on and off-campus for students to talk about mental health.
The society was initially founded as “Creating Conversations” and was founded by a fellow student named Kourtney Creamer. Kourtney was a passionate student who dedicated her life to encouraging others to talk about mental health and illness. Unfortunately, Kourtney suddenly passed away for health complications in 2019, just shortly after Kreating Conversations was established.
This society now continues the legacy, with the “K” being in honour of Kourtney. They strive to normalize speaking about mental health and motivate others to “have courage and be kind”, a saying of Kourtney’s.
What kind of events does the club host?
In the past couple of years, the club hosted “Sounds and Stories” events where the students were encouraged to tell their stories and speak about their struggles so that they can encourage others to do the same. The club ran multiple social media campaigns such as their “Care to Share” initiative, where students can anonymously post their stories online and answer the weekly mental health questions. “Wellness Wednesday” is another initiative where the club makes online posts every week to share information about mental illness to raise more awareness among the students.
How can students benefit by participating in the activities hosted by society?
Students are encouraged to get involved with the society because active participation in the activities can help them gain knowledge and insights in areas surrounding mental health, which in turn could provide opportunities to increase their abilities to work within public sectors where people may be struggling with mental health. To get more involved with society, the student can follow the society on their Instagram and Facebook pages, attend the in-person annual events, participate in the “self-care” giveaway baskets, and more.
Is the society teaming up with other mental health organizations in the community?
Kreating Conversations has teamed up with multiple mental health communities around Saint John, including the Saint John Suicide Prevention Committee, UNB Saint John’s local Jack.org chapter, and the John Howard Society to bring mental health to light and encourage students to speak about their mental health concerns.
Are there any upcoming events?
This year, the society will be hosting a “Sounds and Stories Coffee House” event on Thursday, December 9th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Whitebone Pizzeria. There will be live music, food, counsellors on site, prizes to giveaway, and much more!
Statement from Hayley Hodgson, Vice-President of Kreating Conversations
Hayley Hodgson, Vice-President of Kreating Conversations, stated that the society is “…a student-led group on campus dedicated to eliminating the stigma and creating dialogue concerning mental health awareness,”. Her job as Vice-President is to attend and help organize events and handle all promotional aspects, such as creating and handing out posters and ensuring announcements are made for upcoming events. She also manages the society’s social media pages on Instagram and Facebook and gives approval for all the online posts.
She strongly encourages students to participate in the weekly initiatives (e.g., “Care to Share”, “Wellness Wednesday” and more) to create conversations about mental health, their struggles, strategies to overcome their struggles, provide resources, and mental health tips. She feels very passionate about raising awareness for mental health, which encouraged her to run for this role and advocate for students’ mental health rights. Along with the other executive team members, she wants to create a safe and positive environment where students can openly create conversations surrounding mental health.
What are some of the club’s future initiatives?
In the upcoming years, the society’s goal is to reach more people and to increase student engagement through the use of online platforms, as well as to take more opportunities to reach out to a wider variety of mental health communities around the Saint John area.
Interested in becoming a member?
To stay up-to-date with society’s latest news and updates, please follow the society’s Instagram and Facebook pages. If you are interested in becoming a member and attending their events, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.