Mental health is something that everyone has, says Alyssa Lauzon, and it is important to recognize its importance. That’s why the UWindsor student, just finished her second year of social work studies, created the Pinwheel Project scholarship.
The scholarship will support University students experiencing struggles with mental illness — either themselves or through someone close to them. Lauzon hopes the project will honour the memory of her grandfather, who died by suicide in 2016.
She recalls that he worked many years as an electrician for Windsor Regional Hospital, where he would hand pinwheels to children in the wards. Lauzon will donate a pinwheel to children in care at Windsor Regional Hospital for every $5 donated to the scholarship fund.
“I wanted to find a way to carry on his legacy,” she says. “I feel like hospitals are scary places, especially for kids. Having something to brighten their day can make a difference.”
In the same way, scholarship support can help lessen the load of students struggling with their mental health, says Lauzon.
“I know I stress a lot about how I’m going to pay for school, so I really rely on scholarships,” she says. “I noticed there is nothing directed at the ones who need the help the most.”
She says she intends to help reduce stress for others.
“Having something positive will better their mental health rather than worsen it,” Lauzon says.