SportsDaniel Patterson Talks “TheoryOfLove” Campaign

Daniel Patterson Talks “TheoryOfLove” Campaign

Daniel Patterson Talks “TheoryOfLove” Campaign

Daniel Patterson is a student at Carleton University studying sociology. He is the manager of the TheoryOfLove campaign, designed to address mental health and the stigmas that surround it. Part of his campaign is an initiative is to engage with Ottawa’s homeless community, to get them into organized sports and other activities.

Ottawa Life: Thanks for doing this. First of all I’d ask how you got involved with the TheoryOfLove campaign. I guess it’s your own initiative, so when did you get that started?

Daniel Patterson: I kind of just started on my own accord as you were saying, because I’ve been in places where I’ve felt alone and isolated. In high school I was bullied, and I kind of realized that we all feel isolated, but we kind of wear this mask. We don’t talk about our mental health vulnerabilities, and we’re told by the mainstream media to be perfect.

Now specifically about your Scoring Connection, can you tell me a little bit about that?

The whole premise of the TheoryOfLove is we all have this desire to be loved and accepted. As humans we’re social creatures, and if we don’t feel accepted, these mental health problems can occur. So this Scoring Connection program is going to be a sports and recreation program for homeless individuals in Ottawa. I’m currently working to get people to either facilitate a sports class or sports night, or facilitate a recreation program, like yoga class, or even Bingo, something like that, on a volunteer basis.

And where are you looking right now?

I’m looking at a bunch of different organizations. I’m looking at the Ottawa Sport & Social Club, I’m contacting various mental health centres around Ottawa to see if they’d be interested in advertising it.

I’ve got to ask this: how’s it going so far?

It’s pretty good. I’m hoping to get more uptake as things go by – I’m still learning as I go and working at it. I have gotten some positive responses from community organizations and health centres. I’ve gotten feedback mostly on the social media component. I’ve started a hashtag called #IAmReal, and I’m encouraging people to go on social media and express their mental health, just to create a kind of community there.

And you have the GoFundMe. The goal is $300 right now?

That’s the goal in terms of the booking space. With the City of Ottawa, even with a not-for-profit, it does cost some money. So it would be really cool if people could help out with that.

And on top of the Scoring Connection, there’s the interview component with people. Could you tell me a little bit about that?

I’m trying to kind of increase the prevalence of this. But in order to disassemble the stigma around mental health, I’m going downtown in Ottawa and trying to interview typically marginalized populations. Like individuals who are under the poverty line, who are homeless, just to try to get their stories on what makes them unique as a person. I find we really gloss over that, and lump people together, and that lumping of people is what contributes to people being marginalized.

And how’s that been going?

There have been two so far. I haven’t been able to get out as much as I probably should be. I’ve been focusing on other components of (TheoryOfLove).

So you’re still at Carleton studying sociology. This must take a decent amount of time up on the side. How much time do you think it takes up in a week?

To be honest, it’s taken up quite a bit. I try to post on social media at least once per day, and maybe every two weeks I’ll try to write a blog post, but sometimes it might take up a little more time than that. Another component of it is a community discussions. I’m trying to get people to come together to do activities and have discussions about mental health stigma.

Are there any other sub-campaigns with the Theory of Love you plan to do in the future?

My friend and I were talking about a podcast. But I’m not so sure about it yet. I’m going to really focus on making strong what I do have. We did kind of record a first podcast (yesterday,) not sure if I’ll be incorporating it into TheoryOfLove because I don’t want to be spreading myself too thin.

Thanks for talking with me. And good luck with everything.

Thank you.

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