Alumna Taryn Jessop (Class of 2015) talks about her struggles with mental health and her work in Mental Health and Wellness.
Ever since I was a child, I have struggled with my own mental health, but I never really knew what was going on until I found out about others going through similar things. Once I knew that I was not alone, I pledged to myself to learn more so I could not only help myself but also understand what others were going through. Then, I realized that the more I learned, the more I wanted to learn and promote mental health awareness, so that I could help others and my community. Now, the more I facilitate events and speak out with my own story, the more I see the positive impact I am having on my community. And I love it.
From an early age, Southpointe taught me the discipline of keeping a tight schedule. At Southpointe, and in the senior school especially, I put a lot of time and effort into my studies in order to give myself the best possible start at university. During this time, I was able to practice keeping an intense focus on meeting deadlines while also maintaining a creative flare in my work. In addition, speaking and working with Mrs. Downie, the Senior School counselor at the time, and other students that were also passionate about mental health helped me realize the importance of working together to promote wellness. Southpointe gave me a strong foundation to grow upon.
Now, I am a third year student at the UBC Sauder School of Business, specializing in Business Technology Management (BTM), and Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources (OBHR). I’m involved in mental health initiatives both on and off campus.
On campus, I am the Vice-President Mental Wellness for Sauder Health and Wellness, which is a Commerce Undergraduate Society service. In this position, I am an advocate and ambassador for mental wellness for all Sauder students; I facilitate different events and mental health initiatives put on by the Health and Wellness service, as well as collaborate with representatives from other UBC bodies that are also working toward offering more mental health initiatives on campus, such as the Wellness Centre and the Undergraduate Office in the Sauder building.
In addition to this, I am involved in two other organizations that are not part of UBC: the Youth Mental Health Association (YMHA), and Safelight Conferences. YMHA is a by youth, for youth, non-profit organization that aims to destigmatize mental health by empowering youth to become innovative leaders within the mental health sector. We host many different events and programs that tackle different issues within the mental health community. I have been a part of YMHA for the past year and a half, and I have taken on many roles within the organization: Marketing Director, Business Strategy Consultant, Hiring Coordinator, and External Relations Committee Chair.
Safelight Conferences is an organization that hosts an annual conference for all ages and backgrounds that aims to unite all of the topics within mental health to make the voices of advocates stronger. I am the Vice-President and the Co-Founder of the organization, and we are currently hiring and planning for next year’s conference. At both organizations, we are always looking for more people to get involved!
Please see below links to initiatives Taryn is currently involved in: