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Community Action Report: We Are Healthy

11

Reduce the stigma around mental health by having more conversations about it in schools and youth spaces. Make these conversations less general and include higher quality information that is comprehensive and (where applicable) integrated into curricula.

Make conversation about mental health/education in schools less general, and have opportunities to hear from youth (sometimes what we hear isn’t relatable)
-Sense making sessions

 

Open conversations about mental health, normalising the topic
– Sense making sessions

 

Informative pieces to help erase the stigma around mental health
– From YIS Qualitative

 

Make therapy more affordable for people, and make sure there isn’t a stigma around mental health because even if you don’t struggle with mental health it is still important to talk to people and therapists on a daily basis.
– From YIS Qualitative

 

Teachers having more 1:1 conversations to check in with students and how they are feeling
– Sense making sessions

Organization: Grade 12 student at Grand River Collegiate Institute

Nolan, a grade 12 student passionate about mental health, created a flowchart style mental health resource in collaboration with Yannice. “Do You Need Help? Explore Your Wellbeing” presents students with different mental health pathways and resources to access. Nolan and Yannice hope that the resource can be posted around schools so that is easily accessible to students. See the resource on the Smart Waterloo Region Innovation Lab Instagram account @smartwatregion!

12

Improve the education around mental health for adults and youth, both around their own mental health but also how to support others. Those in positions of power (particularly in school spaces) should have thorough, quality education that allows them to better themselves, but also the youth they are supposed to be supporting.

Improving knowledge about, and mental health of those in positions of power (adults) – how can adults support youth mental health when they don’t understand/know how to support their own mental health?
-Sense making sessions


Mental health care education in schools (building adult capacity to support)
– Sense making sessions


Education around supporting others with their mental health (not just your own) (e.g. how can parents support children, how can friends support friends)

– Sense making sessions


Building capacity of guidance counsellors to better support with mental health, more educated and sensitive to students
– Sense making sessions


Decision makers need to build stronger understanding of what impacts mental health
– Sense making sessions

Organization: Camino Wellbeing + Mental Health

Camino offers various workshops related to mental health for both adults, youth and children. Workshops focus both on individuals learnings about and how to cope with their own mental health concerns, as well as for parents to support children. Learn more about Camino here!

 

Organization: The Counselling Collaborative of Waterloo Region

The Counselling Collaborative of Waterloo Region is a community-based partnership between six community counselling organizations within Waterloo-Wellington Region to better support access to counselling supports. Call the central intake number to find the right program or service. Each organization also offers workshops and programsLearn more about the Counselling Collaborative here!

 

Organization: Lutherwood

Lutherwood had curated a great list of resources and online tools for children, youth, families, and professions interested in learning more about mental health. This list also includes emergency numbers/places to turn if youth need help. Check out the list of resources here!

13

Increase the availability of mental health education for adults and youth in spaces like schools and through external workshops. Ensure the education is high quality, tangible, specific to different topics (e.g. suicide) and includes local resources. Ensure all resources and educational materials are youth-friendly/relatable.

[consider] suicidal thoughts and self harm… survey meant to improve community wellbeing doesn’t even acknowledge these issues it can make people feel like they aren’t seen.
– From YIS Qualitative

 

Make conversation about mental health/education in schools less general, and have opportunities to hear from youth (sometimes what we hear isn’t relatable)
– Sense making sessions

 

Education on mental health for kids and adults (workshops for children, youth, and families)
-Sense making sessions

Organization: African Family Revival Organization (AFRO)

The Black Mental Health Campaign (BMHC) is an afterschool program that strives to promote the mental health and well-being of Black & African children and teenagers in Kitchener-Waterloo. AFRO’s BMHC is about initiating conversations about mental health with children and youth who will, in turn, be encouraged to share these conversations with their parents and caregivers. Learn more about AFRO here!

 

Organization: Lutherwood

UNMIND is an online platform where youth can access information and resources related to mental health. It’s a free resource to find tools, interventions and a network of child and youth mental health professionals. Learn more about UNMIND here!

 

Organization: Kind Minds Family Wellness

 Kind Minds Family Wellness specializes in Afrocentric/culturally grounded counselling, education, employment and research advocacy to support Black clientele and address anti-Black racism and systemic oppression. They offer opportunities for youth through their Youth Groups: Odo, Cross-Cultural Leadership workshop, and so much more! Learn more about Kind Minds Family Wellness here!

 

Organization: Camino Wellbeing + Mental Health

Camino offers a wide range of one-time workshops for child, youth, and caregivers. Workshops are usually free and transportation supports can be provided for those who need it. Learn more about the workshops here and different groups here!

14

Walk the talk - make mental health services more accessible to youth. Support youth in understanding services available and implementing mechanisms to better support youth in navigating the mental health system to actually access services

Navigating the mental health system can be hard – supporting youth in accessing services and knowing what’s out there (rather than just sharing websites or phone numbers)
– Sense making sessions

 

More mental health services and supports available in schools
– Sense making sessions

 

More support groups or local youth therapists to talk to
– From YIS Qualitative

 

Access to mental health services to lower income households
– From YIS Qualitative

 

Counselling catered to individual needs
-From YIS Qualitative

 

Organization: Multiple

Did you know – youth can access mental health services on their own (without the need for parental or guardian consent) at the age of 12?  

 

Organization: Lutherwood (Front Door)

Front Door supports youth and parents of children and youth (up to their 18th birthday) who are struggling with life’s challenges such as emotions, behaviours, relationships and mental health. It’s a starting point for accessing child and youth mental health services and supports in Waterloo Region. Learn more about Front Door here!

 

Organization: Camino Wellbeing + Mental Health (OK2BME) 

OK2BME is a set of services for 2SLGBTQ+ youth, teens and their families. Services including subsidized or no-cost counselling, youth groups, GSA supports, public education and training, and rainbow parenting supports. Learn more about OK2BME here!

 

Organization: Wilmot Family Resource Centre

Wilmot Family Resource centre is working in partnership with local counselling organizations to ensure youth can access services. They worked together to fund a youth counsellor to provide services at the centre, with a focus on 2SLGBTQ+ supportsLearn more about Wilmot Family Resource Centre here!

 

Organization: Lutherwood

UNMIND is an online platform where youth can access information and resources related to mental health. It’s a free resource to find tools, interventions and a network of child and youth mental health professionals. Learn more about UNMIND here!

 

Organization: Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre (SOHAC)

SOAHAC’s purpose is to improve access to, and the quality of, health services for First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in the spirit of partnership, mutual respect and sharing. SOHAC offers a combination of health and social services including traditional healing, primary health care, health promotion, cultural programs, and more. They’ve got both child and youth programs, and tele-mental health supports for children and youth. Learn more about SOHAC’s opportunities here!

15

Walk the talk - make mental health services more accessible to youth. Ensure services are financially accessible to youth (available for free or at a lower cost), particularly so youth from low income households can access services

Make therapy more affordable for people, and make sure there isn’t a stigma around mental health because even if you don’t struggle with mental health it is still important to talk to people and therapists on a daily basis.
– From YIS Qualitative

 

More mental health services and supports available in schools
– Sense making sessions

 

Mental health services and resources more accessible (e.g. less expensive, shorter wait times, etc.)
– Sense making sessions

 

Access to mental health services to lower income households
– From YIS Qualitative

Organization: Camino Wellbeing + Mental Health (OK2BME) 

OK2BME is a set of services for 2SLGBTQ+ youth, teens and their families. Services including subsidized or no-cost counselling, youth groups, GSA supports, public education and training, and rainbow parenting supports. Learn more about OK2BME here!

 

Organization: Lutherwood (Front Door)

Front Door supports youth and parents of children and youth (up to their 18th birthday) who are struggling with life’s challenges such as emotions, behaviours, relationships and mental health. It’s a starting point for accessing child and youth mental health services and supports in Waterloo Region. Learn more about Front Door here!

16

Walk the talk - make mental health services more accessible to youth. Making more services available (e.g. reducing wait times, making services available through school, hosting support groups, more options) to those looking for supports

Make therapy more affordable for people, and make sure there isn’t a stigma around mental health because even if you don’t struggle with mental health it is still important to talk to people and therapists on a daily basis.
– From YIS Qualitative

 

More mental health services and supports available in schools

– Sense making sessions

 

Re. mental health – walk the talk in schools (make supports available early when students are struggling, preventative spaces like extensions, etc.)

– Sense making sessions

 

Mental health services and resources more accessible (e.g. less expensive, shorter wait times, etc.)

– Sense making sessions

 

More support groups or local youth therapists to talk to

– From YIS Qualitative

 

Counselling catered to individual needs

– From YIS Qualitative

Organization: African Family Revival Organization (AFRO)

The Black Mental Health Campaign (BMHC) is an afterschool program that strives to promote the mental health and well-being of Black & African children and teenagers in Kitchener-Waterloo. AFRO’s BMHC is about initiating conversations about mental health with children and youth who will, in turn, be encouraged to share these conversations with their parents and caregivers. Learn more about AFRO here!

 

Organization: Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre (SOHAC)

SOAHAC’s purpose is to improve access to, and the quality of, health services for First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in the spirit of partnership, mutual respect and sharing. SOHAC offers a combination of health and social services including traditional healing, primary health care, health promotion, cultural programs, and more. They’ve got both child and youth programs, and tele-mental health supports for children and youth. Learn more about SOHAC’s opportunities here!

 

17

Walk the talk - make mental health services more accessible to youth. Ensure these services reflect the diversity of our communities, so that youth can see themselves in the people they are encountering

More support groups or local youth therapists to talk to
– From YIS Qualitative

 

Counselling catered to individual needs
– From YIS Qualitative

 

More diversity in mental health services (seeing representation of ourselves)
-Sense making sessions

Organization: African Family Revival Organization (AFRO)

The Black Mental Health Campaign (BMHC) is an afterschool program that strives to promote the mental health and well-being of Black & African children and teenagers in Kitchener-Waterloo. AFRO’s BMHC is about initiating conversations about mental health with children and youth who will, in turn, be encouraged to share these conversations with their parents and caregivers. Learn more about AFRO here!

 

Organization: Kind Minds Family Wellness

Kind Minds Family Wellness specializes in Afrocentric/culturally grounded counseling, education, employment and research advocacy to support Black clientele and address anti-Black racism and systemic oppression. They offer opportunities for youth through their Youth Groups: Odo, Cross-Cultural Leadership workshop, and so much moreLearn more about Kind Minds Family Wellness here!

 

Organization: Camino Wellbeing + Mental Health (OK2BME)

OK2BME is a set of services for 2SLGBTQ+ youth, teens and their families. Services including subsidized or no-cost counselling, youth groups, GSA supports, public education and training, and rainbow parenting supports. Learn more about OK2BME here!

 

Organization: Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre (SOHAC)

SOAHAC’s purpose is to improve access to, and the quality of, health services for First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in the spirit of partnership, mutual respect and sharing. SOHAC offers a combination of health and social services including traditional healing, primary health care, health promotion, cultural programs, and more. They’ve got both child and youth programs, and tele-mental health supports for children and youth. Learn more about SOHAC’s opportunities here!

18

Schools should be mindful of the pressure/workload they are assigning youth. Have more conversations with students regarding their home life/workload, and ensure that the work assigned in school isn’t negatively affecting student’s health. Adults should understand that the responsibilities placed on youth are extensive/potentially overwhelming. They should ensure that what they ask of them is not causing youth to put work before health (ie. not getting enough rest)

In school it takes more time for the students mental health. Often teachers say take time after school to work on your mental health and relax but they also give us 5 homework assignments due the next day.
– From YIS Qualitative


It would be better if high school wasn’t as stressful and there should be less homework and tests that will cause extreme stress to teenagers
– From Feedback Survey

 

Have our school work be smaller like not get so much of it.
– From YIS Qualitative

 

I think the adults should look at the amount of sleep that we are getting.
– From Feedback Survey

 

If you have information as to how this is moving forward in our community, please connect with jlincho@caminowellbeing.ca