Donor support helps U of S students expand their horizons

 

David Stobbe / Stobbephoto.ca

Kari Duerksen has received multiple student awards thanks to the Annual Campaign for Students.

The Annual Campaign for Students 2015-16 officially launches on September 28.

The Annual Campaign for Students is the foremost annual charitable campaign for the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), raising funds from thousands of alumni and friends. Last year, the campaign raised more than $1.34 million to support student initiatives across campus.

Thanks to the support of generous donors, U of S students received awards and bursaries in a variety of disciplines, and were able to participate in travel opportunities and extracurricular activities that add value to their university experience.

Says Kari Duerksen, fourth-year Arts and Science student and recipient of multiple student awards, “Receiving student awards is very motivating. It’s an acknowledgement that someone believes in me, and that motivates me to work harder, not just for myself but to make the donor’s investment worthwhile.”

Working part-time as a neuro-feedback technician, Kari uses what she’s learning in her psychology courses to help war veterans and RCMP officers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Her weekends are spent volunteering at the Sexual Assault Centre in Saskatoon—another cause that aligns with her educational pursuits.

While her friends are working long hours to finance their education, donor support has allowed Kari the freedom to choose opportunities that align with her goals and directly impact her future.

An excited group of U of S students prepares for another school year.

An excited group of U of S students prepares for another school year.

Every cent raised from the campaign is student-centred. One hundred percent of your contribution will be dedicated to helping students like Kari focus on their studies and get ready for their future.

U of S students appreciate how annual donors help enhance their university experience. With more than 5,400 donors contributing to the campaign last year, our goal this year, is to encourage even more to give. Whether you choose to support your college, or help students across campus by giving to a university-wide awards fund, we hope that you’ll help students today.

The 2015-16 campaign runs until April 2016. Interested donors are encouraged to vist: www.give.usask.ca/students for more information on how to give.

Thank you for helping our students expand their horizons at the U of S.

Written by: Brittany Stevens, Development Communications Specialist

All photos by: David Stobbe/Stobbe Photography

U of S alumna looks to revolutionize the way we talk about mental health.

Dr. DeeDee Maltman (front and centre) poses with members of the College of Medicine Class of '85.

Dr. DeeDee Maltman (front and centre) poses with members of the College of Medicine Class of ’85.

 

Having been a physician in Saskatoon for thirty years, Dr. DeeDee Maltman (MD ’85) has seen firsthand the increase in the rate of mental health issues.

Following the tragic death of two friends from mental illness in 2013, Dr. Maltman knew it was time to re-examine the way we talk about mental health.

Having completed a fellowship program in integrative medicine in 2012, Maltman was prepared to seek out new treatment options for patients. While she is quick to credit traditional medicine as a great model for assessing chronic illness, Maltman is well aware of the need for change in today’s health care system.

Examining many internal and external factors that could be contributing to mental illness, integrative medicine examines the whole person, ‘the mind, body and spirit’ and examines patients at microbial, chemical, gut and social levels to detect deficiencies that could connect the mind and body.

She knew that if should could combine her knowledge of integrative medicine with the traditional models she had practiced throughout her career it would have a huge impact on the treatment of mental health patients.

“My role in integrative medicine goes beyond the biomedical model,” she says. “I want to look at the way multiple facets such as diet, lifestyle and surroundings play a role in affecting one’s mental state.”

She adds, “Looking at mental illness through the lens of integrative medicine, offers patients a more complete and upstream approach to treatment.”

It is through this way of thinking that Maltman’s idea for the Neural Health Project evolved.

The Neural Health Project will offer patients suffering from mental illness an integrated approach to treatment.

“Because mental illness affects multiple channels, there are many things that need to align in order to help those suffering,” says Maltman.

The project will bring together a team of interdisciplinary researchers that will work collectively to incorporate integrative methods to assess an individual’s treatment needs. Thanks to a successful fundraiser in July 2015, their study is expected to launch before the end of 2015.

While it was obvious that funds needed to be raised, Maltman knew that it needed to be more than just a one-time donation.

With the help of family friend and NHL coach, Mike Babcock, Maltman organized a $1000 a plate dinner that took place on July 24, 2015 to raise funds for the project.

Called “One Voice”, the event featured appearances by mental health advocates Michael Landsberg and Clara Hughes and featured a crowd of 560, ranging from sport celebrities to musical stars and many Saskatoon locals.

 

Mike Babcock addresses the crowd at the One Voice event in Saskatoon on July 24, 2015.

Mike Babcock addresses the crowd at the One Voice event in Saskatoon on July 24, 2015.

“We knew we aimed high,” says Maltman. “Our goal was to raise $1 million, thinking we would get there eventually, but we have been overwhelmed with the support we have received.” The project has both met and exceeded their goal, and donations are continuing to come in.

The Neural Health Project will find its home at the University of Saskatchewan, in the College of Medicine’s Department of Community Health and Epidemiology. Under Maltman’s direction, it is hoped that this research will shift people’s perceptions and help shed the stigma associated with mental health.

Maltman also hopes that this project will be seen as a catalyst for change in the healthcare system. “This approach,” she says, “is not about eliminating medication, but of bringing in new ideas that can work in conjunction with old models.”

She adds, “This will be an ongoing research project, that will require ongoing funding. We’ve only just begun.”

For more information about the Neural Health project, visit: http://www.theneuralhealthproject.com/

Written by: Brittany Stevens, Development Communications Specialist