Psychology Student Helping Foster Change for Mental Health System

Sheryl FogartySheryl Fogarty is a fourth-year Psychology student with a passion for studying mental health. She is co-president of the CBU Psychology Society and has first-hand experience in working with people who struggle with their mental health. For this reason, Sheryl is helping organize an upcoming event at CBU where community groups will come together and discuss what obstacles stand in the way of progress in the mental health sector.

Sheryl’s interest in psychology began when she started studying and found herself working at the Cape Breton Community Housing Association. While working there, she found herself advocating for mental health issues on a regular basis. “I had finally found my niche,” says Sheryl. “I knew at some point I would like to return to school and further my education in the field of Psychology.”

Sheryl knows how essential this issue is, especially here on the Island. “Mental Health issues are on the rise in Cape Breton and I think I can speak for everyone when I say we all want what’s best for our youth and anyone dealing with a mental health issue for that matter,” She says.

After reading Todd Leader’s book, Sheryl is looking forward to having the chance to meet Todd in person and discuss ideas. “I am looking forward to meeting Todd Leader and hearing his ideas first hand… I have read his book, “It’s Not About Us”, which gave me hope for the future of Cape Breton,” says Sheryl. “As we all know, our mental health system is in need of revamping, yet not many of us know where to turn or what questions to ask.”

Sheryl hopes that the result of the community event and the Psychology Café will be a more open approach when talking about the struggles of living with a mental health disorder. “In the past number of years we have seen the harsh realities of the struggles with mental health and addiction in our community,” says Sheryl. “We need to keep talking about it, we need to keep it in the forefront because I think for a lot of people it is a tough subject to deal with unless you are personally affected. “No matter what your viewpoint, I am sure we are all on the same page in that we all want to help, so having these types of events just brings us one step closer to achieving that goal.”

The talk will be held on Tuesday, September 19 at 7:00 p.m. in the Verschuren Centre.

There will also be a Psychology Café the following day, where CBU students will also be given the chance to take part in this discussion.