My name is Sarah Vereschagin, and I am the President of UBC MHAC this year. I figured I’d introduce myself quickly and share why I am so passionate about mental health.
I’m in my 3rd year at Sauder, and I’m double specializing in Accounting and Business Tech Management. I got involved with UBC MHAC in 1st year as a Communications Coordinator. I then became VP External (now VP Marketing) in 2nd year, and I could not be more thrilled to start my new role as President for the coming year!
If you had told me 5 years ago that I would be sharing my personal experiences about mental health with people I’ve never met before, I would’ve told you that you’re crazy. Growing up in a mixed-Asian household, mental health was never really discussed in my family. As my sister and I grew older, we began to realize that mental health is prevalent in every aspect of our lives. We started educating each other, having hard conversations about our personal biases that can distort the way we view problems, and creating a supportive environment focused on growing together.
Throughout my life, I have had multiple people close to me who struggled with mental health issues, and I had an incredibly hard time understanding my role in supporting them. I remember feeling the weight of their struggles on my shoulders, and that I had to do more to compensate for their hardships, yet I didn’t know where to start. I was constantly scared to talk to my friends or family because it “wasn’t my story to share.” Over time, things got better, but I never want anyone to feel alone or helpless.
Coming to UBC, I knew I wanted to get involved, but I wasn’t quite sure where to start. As many of you probably know, UBC mental health services can be confusing to navigate. My goal for UBC MHAC is simple: create an environment where people feel as though it’s okay to not be okay. I hope that through our events this year, we can create a more positive dialogue about what it means to take care of our mental health.
I remember telling the MHAC team that if we can help just one person, it’ll all be worth it. I am so excited to work with such an incredible team this year, and I can’t wait to see what we will accomplish!
If you are interested in getting involved in MHAC, or you just want to chat, feel free to reach out on Facebook @ UBC Mental Health Awareness Club.