The Sunflower Studio
Mental health and music have come together in a new initiative at Mount Allison University. Meighen Centre post-graduate intern, Dolli Sukkar (’21), teaming up with Darcy Cormier from the University’s Wellness Centre, took to the airwaves this term to launch The Sunflower Studio: Tune in to Wellness on CHMA campus/community radio.
“As part of my internship at the Meighen Centre, I needed to come up with a special project to complete over the year,” says Sukkar, who graduated in 2021 with a degree in international relations. “I wanted music be part of it, so the radio show idea surfaced again. It’s been so much fun to learn and talk about mental health and wellness in this way.”
Launched in February 2022, The Sunflower Studio is a weekly program exploring how music impacts mental health. Each episode focuses on a specific mental health theme or topic and includes conversation and related musical selections. Submissions including stories and song recommendations are encouraged from students and community members.
Sukkar and Cormier, who has a professional background in mental health and wellness, also research specific topics for the programs, drawing on resources such as music therapy.
“We’re aiming to provide programming that normalizes wellness and self-care, which listening to music can be a form of,” says Cormier. “Hearing from students and community members, receiving song suggestions and the reasons behind these selections has made the themes very diverse and personal at the same time.”
Cormier and Sukkar approached James Anderson, Station Manager for CHMA, who encouraged the pair to pursue their idea for the show, providing valuable lessons around radio broadcasts and recordings.
“James was so helpful, neither of us had ever done a radio recording before,” says Sukkar. “I had originally thought about seeing if I could just be a guest on an existing show, but he suggested making it its own program.”
Covering topics such as anxiety, motivation, comfort and relaxation, The Sunflower Studio also seeks to profile wellness programs and services on campus, such as Navigate MtA, a peer support team for students.
To submit a song suggestion or story, please fill out the submission form here or visit their Instagram page for more information (@thesunflowerstudio_wellness).
The Sunflower Studio airs Sundays at 6 p.m. Atlantic on CHMA Radio. You can listen live or find past episodes at the link above.