Dogs at Red River College!


As some of you know, I've been working on a project that's aimed at starting a conversation about student mental health at Red River College. The project is called Mind It! and if you're interested in learning more about it you can visit

One of the things I'm doing with this initiative is getting students to participate in activities that promote mental health. For example, creative activities are a great way to de-stress and so Mind It! put on two art making events last month that got more than 100 students painting.

On Wednesday, Mind It! brought dogs to the college to give students a bit of a mood boost. The dogs are certified therapy dogs through St. John Ambulance's dog therapy program and are usually busy visiting seniors homes and hospitals.

It looks to me like the students enjoyed their company, and the dogs didn't seem to mind all the attention :)

What do you think?

Talking mental health on Tune Up


Back in August I had the opportunity to talk about the mental health initiative I started this year, Mind It on Alex Wenger's radio podcast show, Tune Up.

After months of suspense, I'm so excited that my episode finally aired last night!

It was my first time speaking publicly about my personal battle with a mental health issue and while I was nervous, I think the interview went well. As I listen back to what we talked about that day, one thing in particular stands out to me — just how far I've come in the last few years.

If you would like to listen to the interview, visit and click on episode #2. The entire episode focuses on mental health and my interview takes place in the second half-hour.

A Drunken Stupor


Most PR professionals would agree that the Rob Ford crack scandal is a crisis for Ford's communications team and Toronto City Council. What I find most interesting about the whole situation, however, is not the poor way in which Ford handled the media, but how his audiences are reacting to his statements and behaviour.

So how are Canadians handling the news that the man running Toronto smoked crack while in office?

They've taken to social media of course.


#RobFord has been trending for months — since the Toronto Star first broke this story. Then, early this week Ford admitted to the world that he did in fact use crack cocaine during a "drunken stupor". You can guess what started trending next. Twitter lit up and #drunkenstupor became an excuse for everything from failing to hand in homework to watching too many cat videos.


Since the story broke, countless Facebook pages, groups and communities in support of Rob Ford resigning from his position as Mayor of Toronto have popped up. Facebook users are sharing everything Rob Ford — from hard news articles to parody videos and blog posts.


Who would have thought the Internet's largest beauty and fashion photo-sharing site would be used to persuade people to join the campaign calling for Ford to step aside? Pinterest boards with titles like "The Ford Files"are populated with political comics, commentary and unflattering photos of the Mayor and shared with Pinterest users around the world.

What Now?

If we didn't already know how much the media landscape has changed in recent years, this case has made it quite clear. Content may still be king, but anyone can be the creator. From cell phone videos to blog posts, anyone with a cell phone and access to a computer can bring down a politician, celebrity, or any person in a position of authority — if given the opportunity.

According to a recent Globe and Mail article, the Internet has "introduced a new culture, a culture where anyone can publish anything about anybody, with the Internet acting as a giant, unfiltered, viral poster." 

Yep, that sounds about right.

Rob Ford = 0; Social Media= 1,000,000,000+

Letting Go of Perfectionism


I know many people who are, like myself, perfectionists. We can be hard on ourselves, even unforgiving. If we don't do well on an assignment or project at work, we just can't let it go. The sinking feeling that accompanies "failure" takes a toll, dampening our mood and leaving us feeling not good enough.

Something I've come to realize over the last few weeks, however, is that perfectionism in itself is not a bad thing. It's when we lose sight of our goals that creates a problem.

My goal in studying Creative Communications is to learn all that I can from my instructors and peers so I can start my professional career in six months with a solid understanding of communications and what is expected of me in the industry. This is not the same as getting an "A" on every assignment. Admitting I've made a few mistakes and focusing on how I can improve my work on the other hand, is aligned with my underlying goals.

It feels good to remind myself of what I'm actually striving for and to recognize that it's OK to be a perfectionist about some things like doing my best at soaking up all that I can. 

At the end of the day, if I'm putting in my best effort to learn and improve, then I'm steadily working toward my goal. And that's all I can ask of myself.

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