Camosun Chargers Make Some Noise for Mental Health
Growing up, she was active in softball, tennis, basketball, volleyball and running. Now in her second year of studies in Camosun's Exercise and Wellness degree program, she’s combining her passion for physical activity with a drive to promote mental health awareness.
Galitzine and her Chargers teammates are inviting Camosun students, employees and fans to attend their volleyball matches on Thursday, January 25 to join them in the nation-wide campaign to break the stigma surrounding mental health. The Chargers initiative is part of the Canadian College Athletic Association’s (CCAA) Make Some Noise for Mental Health campaign and Bell Canada’s Let’s Talk Day.
Galitzine volunteered for last year’s campaign and expects this year to be bigger and better. “We've got toques and signs and noisemakers to give out to the crowd,” she says. “So expect it to be a loud, awesome atmosphere at the games. Everyone is welcome.”
She credits her studies in the Exercise and Wellness program as a motivating factor for her interest in mental health issues. “I'm very interested in health and wellness and just how important it is for people to focus on their mental health as well as their physical health,” she says. “There’s always such an emphasis on physical health but there also needs to be on the mental health aspect as well.”
As a student athlete, she believes that learning comes from both the classroom and the gym. “Being on a team is invaluable and it’s so much more than a competitive sport,” she says. “I’m learning about mental health because I play on a Chargers team and I’m learning about community and lots of leadership qualities. I love the small class sizes here and all my instructors know me by name. I’m in the same group of people so we’ve all gotten really close—that’s what I really love about Camosun.”
As part of an active and caring Camosun community, Galitzine is inspired to make a difference for others. “Having a support network of people is so important for your emotional and mental health,” she says. “When people just start talking about mental health, they get more comfortable talking about it. If our initiative makes one person who’s struggling feel better, then it will be a success.”
For those who haven’t yet experienced the fun and welcoming atmosphere of a Chargers game, Galitzine has a simple message: “Whenever I’ve talked to people who’ve been at our games, they always come away smiling.”