Grade 10 students from Huntsville High School, Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes Secondary School, and Gravenhurst High School gathered today at the Summit Centre in Huntsville for the “1 in 5 – A Mental Health Symposium.” The purpose of the symposium was to increase student awareness, reduce stigma, and foster a climate and culture where students feel safe, supported, and empowered.

Keynote speaker and Juno Award winner, Hawksley Workman spoke to students about growing up in the Huntsville area. He shared memories with students about moments in his life as a student, an adult, and a musician, where he has had to deal with disappointment, self doubt, self loathing, and depression. He encouraged students to find the tools that they will need to overcome these negative feelings. Engaging with the students in the audience, Workman stated that he wished there was more honesty when he was in school. “Boys and men especially don’t always tell each other how they feel,” he said.

The grade 10 students spent the remainder of the day in self-selected workshops. The topics offered provided a holistic approach to mental health. All participants were encouraged to have a stress-free day.