My mental health message is that it’s okay to ask for help. Nobody should ever struggle in silence, and nobody should ever feel as though they have to be strong all by themselves. The more people who become aware that there is help out there, the more likely it is that those who need it will feel more comfortable reaching out. That starts with talking about it. I got involved with to help break the silence and stigma that surround mental health issues, and work towards building a more open and supportive community at my university.

When I found out that Ryerson University did not have a Jack Chapter established yet, I took this as my opportunity to help make a positive impact on a cause that is extremely close to my heart. Starting the Ryerson Chapter has allowed me to remind students at my school that everyone has mental health and that they should take care of their mental health the way they would their physical health. Last year, with my incredible team, we organized several on-campus initiatives which aimed to address the barrier of seeking help at our university. What a huge difference we noticed! As a result of our continuous presence on campus, we saw a significant change in the level of openness and dialogue that was created amongst students in regards to mental health topics. We’ve had countless students approach us and we’ve been able to start many positive conversations.

My team and I have begun planning for this year, and I am honoured to have been given the chance to share our stories and ideas with the Duke and Duchess! This will be an incredible opportunity to share our commitment to mental health on a national platform! At Ryerson, we truly feel as though we have made an impact on ending the silence, and we are looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish as a team during our second year on campus!

***Bita is one of the phenomenal student leaders who will be meeting with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their Canadian Royal Tour. Share your own mental health message and help us turn the Royal Visit into a chance for national conversation about mental health! Share your message via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and tag it with #OurRoyalMoment.***

My name is Bita Pourvahidi and I am a 4th year student at The Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University. I am working towards my...