Every cloud has a silver lining

Five of next year's College Leaders attended Silverline Live held at the University on 14 September 2018.

Silverline Otago is a student-led pilot to challenge how we engage with mental health and wellbeing. According to their website, "The struggle is real. Challenge the struggle" and they aim to expose students to different ways of wellbeing. Their name derives from the phrase "every cloud has a silver lining".

Some of the College Leaders were able to take part in the special Silverline Live event held on the evening of Friday, 14 September 2018. The event was "all about taking over the silence and stigma that exits around mental health and wellbeing, especially from a student perspective."

During the evening, real life stories were shared by some who had experienced mental health struggles and participants were also provided with opportunities to dip their toes into the wellbeing space. Speakers were Jazz Thornton (co-founder of Voices of Hope), Mark Ranby (Highlanders Personal Development Manager), Tess Goldsmith (5th year clinical psychology student) and Vicky Turner (founder of Awaken Meditation and Mindfulness).

The College's attendees at Silverline Live learned much at the event and found it a very worthwhile experience. The following were the thoughts of some who attended:

  • Rose Wu: "One in six New Zealand adults will suffer from battling mental health in their lifetimes. Silverline highlighted to me that through the smallest acts of taking the time to listen to someone, or asking a genuine 'How are you', we can and will fight against our detrimental youth suicide rate."
  • Thomas Morgan: "I felt that the Silverline event really opened my eyes to the effects of mental illness on all age groups, especially my own, and I would hope that I might now be able to recognise if/when someone in my life or on my floor next year needs help beyond what I can give them."
  • Libby Christophers: "Silverline was an invaluable experience that helped me to understand the importance of mental wellbeing as part of a balanced university life and how we can promote this here at the College."
  • Niamh O'Donnell: "I found Silverline to be an incredibly inspiring event that not only highlighted the importance of healthy conversations around mental health and wellbeing, but equipped us with fantastic skills to maintain our own wellbeing and to effectively support those in our community."
  • Josiah Bugden: "The Silverline Live event was a great evening with some incredible speakers who gave us lots of really effective practical tools for making sure we have good, positive mental health  and can help out and be there for those who are affected by mental health issues in our community. (And the Smoothie Bike was awesome!)"

(Story by the Master, Dr Charles Tustin)

Posted: Friday September 21, 2018