Jan. 27, 2021
Moving ‘forward’ to promote mental health
Seneca grad’s initiative supporting CAMH and removing stigmas
Danai Mushayandebvu knows what it’s like to see someone struggle with a bad day.
“Mental health has affected the lives of my loved ones and I can tell you that every day is different and everyone is different,” she said. “It’s important to meet people where they are.”
To help support those affected by mental illness, Ms. Mushayandebvu, a graduate of Seneca’s Public Relations – Corporate Communications graduate certificate program, founded Forward Ever, Backward Never about a year ago as “a small initiative with a big mission to destigmatize and change behaviours around mental health.”
With a goal of raising $500 for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, she designed and sourced locally made tote bags to sell on online.
“In the end, people loved the tote, and I ended up raising $1,600 for CAMH in just one week,” she said.
Through Forward Ever, Backward Never, Ms. Mushayandebvu now partners with other female entrepreneurs to develop various products in support of CAMH. Her initiative is also an official Kids Help Phone ambassador and partner.
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Week 2 of Teaching, sneakers and all🍎Thrilled to join the faculty of @SenecaCollege as Digital Marketing Professor for School of Hospitality & Tourism. Must admit I have newfound appreciation for all of my teachers and professors. It is remarkable the kind of background work and preparation that goes into a class. Grateful for all of the teachers I’ve ever had! Thank you. ___ Excited for this new challenge while continuing to grow @TryMusGroup and sharing thoughts along the way on WithLoveGabrielle.com ...here we go! Link in bio.
“I have taken my life experience and my specialty in marketing to create something that is 100 per cent authentically me,” Ms. Mushayandebvu said. “It’s doing good for people who possibly need help, while also celebrating small, women-owned businesses with which I collaborate on product development. I feel very grateful to have come to this point in my career to be able to do something like this.”
Ms. Mushayandebvu is a social media consultant and content writer for a number of clients while managing her growing Instagram audience.
“The Forward Ever, Backward Never Instagram page is my Dear Diary,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to help the community in whichever way I can. With this initiative, I want to create a safe space to share freely about the things people go through and for people to talk about their bad days or good days.”
To those who may be going through a lot of bad days, Ms. Mushayandebvu says there’s always hope.
“Some days are tough and I’m not here to say they are not,” she said. “But there’s hope and there’s help. It’s as easy as texting someone or making an Instagram page. There are communities. It’s not just a lip service. Knowing there’s hope is a powerful thing.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, counselling and accessibility services at Seneca are being offered online and by phone. Students who feel they require support can reach out to Seneca’s Counselling & Accessibility office by phone at their campus extension or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
Outside Seneca’s hours of operation, the following resources are also available to students:
- Good2Talk: call 1.866.925.5454 or text GOOD2TALKON to 686868
- Mental Health Helpline: 1.866.531.2600
All employees can receive confidential support through the Employee and Family Assistance Program.