Mental Health with Jack.org

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Jack.org is Canada's only charity training and empowering young leaders to revolutionize mental health in every province and territory. Through Do Something, Jack Talks, Jack Chapters, and Jack Summits, young leaders identify and dismantle barriers to positive mental health in their communities. And through ambitious innovations in youth mental health like BeThere.org, Jack.org gives people the mental health resources they need to educate themselves. Jack.org is working towards a Canada where all young people understand how to take care of their own mental health and look out for each other. A Canada without shame, where all those who need support get the help they deserve. Jack.org's movement is powered by tens of thousands of advocates and allies across every province and territory of Canada. 

 

The Jack Talk has been a staple program at Jack.org for years, bringing peer-to-peer mental health education to tens of thousands of young people. Trained and certified youth speakers use the power of personal stories and mental health education to inspire, engage, educate, and equip young people to look out for themselves and their peers. Jack Talks start important mental health conversations in schools, community groups, or anywhere youth aged 15-24 may gather. COVID-19 has forced Jack.org to pause in-person Jack Talks, but it's never been more important for young people to have the knowledge and tools they need to look out for themselves and each other. Jack.org has introduced the Virtual Jack Talk, which continues to inspire, engage, educate and equip young people with the skills they need to look out for themselves and their peers while living through these extraordinary times. 

 

In response to COVID-19, we developed a COVID-19 Youth Mental Health Resource Hub in partnership with Kids Help Phone and School Mental Health Ontario. Our biggest fundraiser of the year, Jack Ride, had to transition to an entirely virtual event, but was still a success because of our exceptionally supportive and passionate community. Check out the wrap video here. The National Jack Summit also had to transition to an entirely virtual event. What was originally a 2 day event turned into a 7-day long virtual experience bringing together 250 young leaders from across Canada. You can see some highlights here and the wrap video here.

 

In the last few months, the Jack.org team has been discussing how harmful it is to not speak up and actively work to oppose racism. We have also been discussing what changes need to happen within Jack.org and in the healthcare and mental health systems in order to do better by Black, Indigenous, and racialized youth. To that end, we have made the following initial commitments:

1. Elevate and amplify the voices of Black and Indigenous youth in our network in a way that does not tokenize or place a burden on them, while also committing to greater representation of all racialized youth.

2. Address equity gaps in our practices, including sourcing an external facilitator to help Jack.org define our long-term commitment to equity, inclusion and anti-racism.

3. Contribute to this national conversation in French as well as in English.

 

You can read more about our commitment to equity here.