Remembering Josie, Supporting Change

Josephine Wearmouth was a second-year psychology student at UBC, in 2017. She was very active, keen on her studies, and a member of the Thunderbird cheer and dance teams. She is fondly remembered by her peers, friends, family and many others whose lives she touched. Her gifts were many. Josie’s smile could light up a room, her laughter was contagious and her heart of gold made us all feel loved. Her beauty was truly radiant, both inside and out.

To our surprise, Josie was drowning in depression. Muzzled by stigma, she refrained from voicing her struggles to family or friends. She wrote in her journal about strong feelings of worthlessness, embarrassment, shame and that she couldn’t find her way through the stigma. She tried to navigate the uncertain world of an emerging adult - juggling social media, bullying, academic expectations, and peer acceptance. She gave into her struggle at the age of 19.

It is our wish that no one should ever have to experience such pain, again.

In honour of Josie and to help close the gaps currently experienced by young adults facing life threatening mental health challenges we have established a graduate scholarship and will also support specific research projects at the University of Calgary, both of which will address suicide prevention and mental health.

The Josephine Wearmouth Memorial Doctoral Scholarship: Aims to inspire student leadership in mental health and empower students in campus mental health by supporting graduate research in suicide prevention. Candidates will demonstrate their commitment and leadership in improving mental health and/or addressing suicide prevention in the post-secondary population.

Research in Honour of Josephine Wearmouth: Aims to ignite youth engagement and participation towards empowered mental wellness through a collaborative action framework.

Co-led by Dr.Gina Dimitropoulos (Faculty of Social Work) and Dr. Andrew Szeto (Director, Campus Mental Health and Faculty of Arts researcher), Phase 1 of the “Engagement & Co-design - Collaborative Research Towards Student Empowered Mental Wellbeing Project” focuses on bringing young adults and family members to the table to re-imagine components of mental health and wellness and suicide prevention. Starting as early as summer 2021, researchers will invite diverse student groups and caregivers to share both lived/living mental health experiences and explore solutions.

We invite you to join Josie’s family and friends – alongside others who have been impacted by mental health challenges and suicide – to make a difference in Josie’s memory. Please join us to strengthen campus mental health and improve suicide prevention. Together we can support positive change!

 
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In memory of
Ms. Josephine Wearmouth


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