Last week the TNM staff team, Caralyn, Jasmine, and myself (Mary-Anne!) presented at the 2015 Children’s Mental Health Ontario’s (CMHO) annual conference. We were opening the final day of the conference and with 600 eyes on us we were very nervous! The theme of the conference was better together and in the opening ceremony CMHO CEO Kim Moran asked the audience to be bold. We took this to heart and set out to be bold in our presentation. Caralyn challenged what being better together actually meant and who it include, was it youth? or just the same old people that are always at the decision making table? She spoke of the magic that happens when youth are engaged and speaking their truths. I got to share my experience at an event run by our New Mentality Halton Group and how youth can create change! I spoke about what it takes for agencies to do good youth engagement – How youth engagement cannot be held by one person in the agencies but from the front line worker to the Executive Director. And that agencies need to trust in vision of young people! Jasmine challenged outdated approached to youth engagement and called our sector to start implementing anti-oppressive and anti-racist frameworks in our youth engagement. She closed closed our presentation with a epic Spoke N Word poem asking the audience -What will you do with your power? For our full speeches click the links below!
In July 2015 the New Mentality hosted its annual Disable the Label leadership training camp at YMCA Geneva Park. Youth and Adult Allies from across the province gathered together to learn skills, share their local projects, and build meaningful connections. Check out this video to share in the amazing experience!