Student Success

University of Lethbridge students launch campaign aimed at improving mental health — the natural way

Four enterprising University of Lethbridge students have launched the #MycosMentalHealth campaign to increase awareness of mental health and natural remedies that can help.

The student entrepreneurs have been working behind the scenes to launch their initiative to coincide with Mental Illness Awareness Week, which goes from Oct. 1 to 7 and they plan to run the campaign until Mental Health Awareness Month in May. The students have taken a chalkboard around campus and asked people what their natural mental health remedy is. They write their answer on the chalkboard and take a photo that’s then posted to Instagram. So far, people’s solutions have included going for a walk, working out, standing barefoot in the grass, getting some fresh air and listening to music.

From left to right are Gregory Robinson, Jaxon Doram and Cole Childrey.

“We can talk about mental health, and we can bring awareness to it,” says Gregory Robinson, ULethbridge PhD candidate and founder of Mycos. “But what’s much more important is actually talking about how we can improve our mental health. That’s why we decided to go the natural remedies route. Let’s talk about ways that you can actually improve your own mental health and share that with everybody instead of just talking about mental health.”

Robinson, along with Jaxon Doram and Cole Childrey, founders of UrbanDropout, an activewear online store, and Bailey Porter, who started the Litty Love candle company, developed the campaign in response to the growing problem of mental health concerns, especially among young people.

“We’re at that age where it is most prevalent,” says Doram. “A lot of us are out on our own for the first time, we’re away from our families and may not have any of our friends from high school here.”

“The whole campaign is talking about what you can do as a natural remedy to help with your mental health,” says Childrey.

They all know the stresses and struggles students face so they want to engage students in the campaign. When students repost the Instagram posts, they’ll be automatically entered into a monthly draw for the chance to win a prize from each of the companies. On top of that, Robinson donated $500 to start a scholarship fund and is seeking further funding from the University, undergraduate and graduate student administrations, as well as applying for funding through the NeuroSpark Innovation Grants program through Campus Alberta Neuroscience. The scholarships would be awarded to the students who raise the most awareness.

They are encouraging the public to get involved too, by following the companies on social media and posting their own photos or videos about their natural remedies for mental health.

“Anyone can join in the campaign,” says Robinson. “People outside universities and colleges, and even high school and elementary school students suffer from mental health illnesses, as well as people who are older.”

“We want to promote a healthy mindset and being healthy mentally no matter the age group,” says Childrey.

Anyone interested can use the hashtag #MycosMentalHealth and follow their Instagram accounts:
Urban Dropout — @urbandropout_apparel
Mycos — @mycosshrooms
Litty Love — @littylove_