Mississauga student plays key role in global mental health week


Published February 3, 2023 at 3:58 pm

kenisha arora
Photo by UNESCO / C. Alix

Mississauga student Kenisha Arora is taking on a key role in a global Student Mental Health Week initiative.

Arora, who was a Chegg.org Global Student Prize 2022 top 10 finalist, will help out in Chegg’s inaugural Student Mental Health Week from Feb. 6 to 12.

Arora is currently studying at Western University and she and her sister Alisha co-founded The Hope Sisters, a non-profit dedicated to restoring hope and positivity through uplifting vulnerable community members.

She has also advocated for positive and high-quality education for all children. As UNESCO Youth Representative, she gave a speech on the significance of investing in educating the youth at the UN Transforming Education Pre-Summit in Paris.

During the Student Mental Health Week, Arora and Alisha are organizing Instagram live sessions on The Hope Sisters’ Instagram account each day discussing the importance of students prioritizing mental health and de-stigmatizing discussions around their experiences.

Arora hopes the sessions will help “break the silence around mental health.”

Each day, the Instagram live session will feature a different topic such as body positivity’s effect on mental health, toxic masculinity, and tips on how to manage mental health, Arora tells insauga.com.

Arora says being a university student is stressful but she has grounded herself through volunteering and being a ‘hope-spreader’ through The Hope Sisters.

“So I really want other people to become hope-spreaders and find this balance for themselves to be there for their community because everyone is struggling,” she says.

Unfortunately, a friend of Aisha’s died by suicide recently. Aisha is now working on an AI model that detects suicidal ideation in text. It would alert close friends and family every time someone posts about feeling lonely so people can intervene.


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Chegg, an online learning company, is organizing the week in collaboration with five non-profits: Born This Way Foundation, launched and led by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta; the Inspiring Children Foundation, co-chaired by American singer-songwriter Jewel; Young Invincibles; and the Varkey Foundation.

Last year, the Chegg.org Global Student Survey, covering 21 countries, showed that nearly one-third of students worldwide (32 per cent) felt that their mental health had worsened since returning to campus after lockdown restrictions.

The same survey revealed that 39 per cent of students around the world with study-related debt or loans lose sleep over it, and a quarter (25 per cent) feel so anxious over their student loan that they have sought medical help.

The mental health week aims to  support students in tough times, said Dan Rosensweig, CEO and president of Chegg.

“Students around the world face a perfect storm of different challenges – from learning in the aftermath of the pandemic, rising debt levels, and now global economic uncertainty,” said Rosensweig.

Arora said she is proud to participate in the campaign.

“I just really hope that people seek the support that they need,” she says. “I think it’s our moral obligation as human beings to be there for one another.”

For more information, see the Student Mental Health Week website.

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