In Halifax, members of the Saint Mary’s University (SMU) Healthy Minds team are promoting positive body image by raising awareness around eating disorders. Through an event called “Reality Check”, which occurs next week, the members will point out the reality of photoshopped images and our skewed perception of how we should and should not look.

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The members, too, have struggled with depression and mental illness that can be traced back to early days of bullying around their appearances. One girl, Jamie Pottie, had an adverse reaction to medication when she was younger, which made her body swell – something that was out of her control. As a result, she became a target for bullying and later suffered from anorexia.

“Everyday I looked in the mirror, and I was big and my whole life I’d always been big, and I just wanted to be small, I wanted to be thin,” said Jamie Pottie.

It was extremely difficult for Jamie to talk about this to her family. Thankfully, Jamie found support via mental health resources. “I just don’t feel sad anymore. I feel like everyday I have a purpose to come to school and be a mental health advocate.”

SMU Healthy Minds also provides an ongoing safe place for students to seek support for mental health.


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