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Remembering Dal alum Angela Rehhorn through the Stay Connected Mental Health Project
This March 10 marks two years since the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash that tragically took the lives of Angela Rehhorn and Danielle Moore, both 24-year-old graduates of Dal’s marine biology program.
Rehhorn and Moore were on their way to the United Nations Environmental Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya. As part of the United Nations Association of Canada delegation, Rehhorn was representing the Canada Service Corps (Canadian Conservation Core/Canadian Wildlife Federation). The women were among the 18 Canadians aboard the flight that crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa, taking the lives of all 157 on board.
Rehhorn’s legacy continues to inspire members of the Dalhousie community. She is remembered as a fun-loving, outdoor enthusiast, a fearless adventurer, a dedicated athlete and a loyal, kind friend. Growing up, she was a competitive swimmer and soccer player.
During her time at Dalhousie, Rehhorn accomplished many things including being accepted into the co-op program after her first year — something she and her parents were extremely proud of. She was also looking forward to graduate studies at University of New Brunswick on the ecology of right whales. But like many students, the pressure to perform and reach her goals came at a cost.
“She always wanted an adventure, she always wanted to inspire others. Yet sometimes she had to push herself and she had to find ways to overcome things,” says her mother, Joan Vincent.
Honouring a legacy
To honour their daughter’s legacy, Rehhorn's parents have chosen to support the Stay Connected Mental Health Project, a program that offers university students free support in a non-judgmental, confidential, and safe environment. While typically offered in person on campus, these services are currently being offered online due to the pandemic.
“We chose this project because Angela sought support for anxiety and depression that came with the pressure to succeed, especially in her first-year of university when she was away from home. Angela would want others to have opportunities to be their best self,” says Roland Rehhorn, her father.
The Stay Connected Mental Health Project is delivered through peer-to-peer counselling. All workers within the project are current university students who bring their own experience with mental health and receive specialized training from Dalhousie’s Student Health and Wellness Centre.
Stay Connected was founded by Fred and Elizabeth Fountain, who launched the project in memory of their son, Alex Fountain. The Fountains wanted to honour his memory by contributing in a positive way to other youth who might be experiencing mental health problems.
“We have come to learn over the years, since the creation of the Stay Connected Mental Health Project, that peer support is a valuable way to reach some students who, for various reasons, may not always choose to access counselling or health services directly,” says Dr. David Pilon, director of counselling and psychological services at Dalhousie.
“Our Mental Health Peer Support students are well trained to not only offer support but to speak of the resources on campus and to encourage students in those directions if needed.”
If you are a student looking for one-on-one support, please book a same-day counselling appointment with the Dalhousie Student Health and Wellness Centre. You can book an appointment online or by calling 902-494-2172.
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