This fall marks the roll-out of a revamped Counselling and Coaching Service from the University of Ottawa’s Student Academic Success Service.
If the most they were hoping for in creating these shows was a good story, then the creators of 13 Reasons Why and Insatiable should not feel a need to make them something they’re not: TV trailblazers that facilitate important conversation around mental health.
Evans says that she hopes to be known for her progressive policies around housing and healthcare, and also hopes to gain a reputation as someone who fights for the rights of students.
From my personal experience as a Chinese-Canadian, I find that mental illness and mental health are issues rarely (if ever) discussed in Chinese and East Asian households. It continues to be considered a non-serious issue and taboo subject, resulting in its highly stigmatized state.
When it comes to representation, mental health may not be the first thing you think of, but luckily, the creators of these shows have.
In April of 2017, I was in a pretty bad place. It was Brantford, Ontario, where old white people go to retire. My parents had moved there earlier that year, and I was home for a weekend in between final exams. That’s where I tried to take my life.
Of course, if a temporary leave is necessary and agreed to by the student, it’s good that such measures are available. But making such a major decision without the student is not acceptable.