Shattering Stigma

Nolan Anderson speaks to HRH Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 11:58am
Blake Eligh

As class valedictorian, Nolan Anderson ended his undergraduate years at UTM on a high note. But it almost didn’t turn out that way for the psychology graduate, whose first year elsewhere ended disastrously in hospital with a mental health crisis. Living at home again in Mississauga, Anderson eased back into his studies, beginning with part-time courses at UTM.

Anderson, who graduated in June with an honours bachelor of science, knows he has come a long way. “UTM was a big part of my recovery.” He found balance through sports and volunteering, playing defence for the Varsity men’s soccer team. He joined the Health & Counselling Centre team, creating and delivering public information sessions to students. He also appeared in UTMental videos, sharing his experiences about stress, mental health and the stigma that can sometimes come with seeking help.

His work has been recognized with a Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award, a Principal’s Involvement Award, and the 2016 Athlete of the Year Award. Outside of UTM, Anderson shares his experience about youth mental health and leadership with Ontario high school students through the jack.org initiative.

When he addressed the graduating class in May, Anderson touched on the lessons he has learned, especially around mental health. “We all have ups and downs with our mental health. People are afraid to talk about that—there’s a fear of being judged. But it’s important. The more you talk about it, the better you’ll be able to support yourself and others who are going through something similar.”

Read more in the Spring 2017 issue of M Magazine.