Holiday Message from Cath Dyer

Dear Friends,

If you are new to The New Mentality, welcome. You are now part of a huge provincial network with over 17 groups from Windsor to Sault Ste Marie working to advance youth mental health. More than a network, this is a movement to amplify youth voice and support young people to contribute to creating a better mental health system.

Perhaps you are learning about The New Mentality for the first time. Every year we offer subsidies to groups across Ontario to support local activities. We also offer subsidies to youth so they can attend our provincial Disable the Label summer camp.

For the first time, The New Mentality is creating an annual fund, the Youth Changemakers Campaign, where TNM members, alumni, family and friends can give back and directly support youth making a difference for mental health.

The Youth Changemakers Campaign impacts youth in your community and across the province. It supports youth so they can receive the life-changing training and experience at our Disable the Label summer camps. This training in turn, helps ensure successful youth groups and projects and also helps local mental health centres provide effective mental health care.

I ask you to take the time to consider supporting The New Mentality through the Youth Changemakers Campaign.

As a founder and donor of The New Mentality, I choose to make a monthly donation. It’s easy and is deducted monthly from my credit card. I continue to support it because it’s something I really believe in – helping youth not only grow and recover from mental illness but also helping them create growth and healing for their communities and the province.

When I talk with supporters across the province they often share their passion and belief in the work of The New Mentality. I hear from them that by supporting this The New Mentality’s youth leaders, we are in fact, supporting the mental health of all children and youth in Ontario.

If you haven’t already, would you take a minute, and consider supporting The New Mentality?

A gift of $50 for example, could contribute to a group within your community. A gift of $30 per month is enough to send a young person to our summer leadership camp

Supporting the annual Youth Changemakers Campaign is easy. Just click here to make your gift online.

If you have any questions, please contact Caralyn Quan, Program Manager at TNM’s Toronto office at caralyn@thenewmentality.ca or 416-921-2109.

Thank you for helping and have a very happy holiday season with your family and friends.

Catherine Dyer
Founder & Donor
The New Mentality


Waiting For Change Youth Mental Health Summit Recap

On Sunday, November 22 our Youth Action Committee in partnership with The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health hosted our first Youth Mental Health Summit! The Summit engaged youth in the creation of specific policy recommendations for government about how to improve wait times for mental health services and how to support children, youth, and families when they are unable to access the treatment they need.

Recommendations coming out of the youth summit include developing a strategy that brings government and children’s mental health centres together to support children, youth and families while they wait for services by facilitating:

  • Peer-to-peer and family support groups with appropriate levels of staff supervision and training, to help young people and their caregivers assist one another while waiting
  • Temporary counseling resources to help children and youth while they wait for longer-term care, including walk-in clinics, immediate access to a counselor for initial sessions, and drop-in group programs;
  • Individual plans to keep children and youth safe while they wait for services, including suggestions of positive coping mechanisms, numbers to call in a crisis, and information about local grassroots support groups and community activities

youth-summit-2Youth attending also recognize the huge need for funding to ensure improved access to programs and support.

The Youth Action Committee will be completing a report and making formal policy recommendations to the government in the upcoming year. The report will include even more recommendations from the Youth Summit so be sure to keep your eye out for it!

To view photo’s from the event click here!
At the summit Duane from Spoke N Heard captured our first workshop with this beautiful community poem!


“I Hope You Understand”

On Sunday, November 22 our Youth Action Committee in partnerships with The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health hosted our first Youth Mental Health Summit. The summit engaged youth in the creation of specific policy recommendations for government about how to improve wait times for mental heal services and how to support children and youth when they are unable to access the treatment they need. Click here to learn more about the Summit. At the summit Duane from Spoke N Heard captured our first workshop with this beautiful community poem!

“I Hope You Understand” by Duane Hall

I understand that you have not lived my experiences,
but in the fundamental knowing of our interconnectedness,

Multiple manifestations of the same Source, singular projections of the same Whole,
I know you feel me.
I know when I express my pain that you can share the experience though me.

And these stories of struggle are disseminated to shed pre-existing perceptions
and induce a rippling effect of innerstanding.
The Message: No one should have to go through what I’ve gone through.

So I use my voice to send waves of awareness across the nation,
Triggering an awakening to our current situation,
My voice is power undeniable.

These are the things we think you should know:
When we are denied access to services, our conditions worsen.
You should ask yourself these questions.
When in deep isolation and despair,
Am I more likely to turn to teachers or to drugs?
Will I receive more relief from family or from drowning my sorrows in a bottle of beer?
Will my community comfort me more than self-harming?
Am I more likely to visit a walk-in clinic and expose myself to further stigmatization,
or will suicide start looking like a more suitable option?
Will my friends keep me from going off the deep end?
I don’t want to lose my friends and I don’t want to be a burden,
but these tears have been non-stop for weeks and I’m tired and I’m hurting.

And regardless of whether I will actually turn to self-destructive behaviours or not,
and statistically the likelihood is high,
I need you to keep these understandings in mind

Understand that the worse things become, the less people I have to turn to.
Understand that when I’m made to feel insignificant I lose hope in help and I lose interest.
Understand that my mental illness doesn’t magically disappear when I turn 18.
Understand the level of courage it takes to admit my need for help, only to be turned away.
Understand that I feel lost, alienated and invalidated…

Understand that my life is precious
Understand that I have much to offer the world
Understand that I have a purpose
Understand that my continual existence in and of itself is an act of resilience
Understand that I’m what you’re missing
Understand that you need me to complete your mission
Understand that my heart is open
and I’m willing to go even further than you can to provide healing for another person.

I am valuable, relevant, vulnerable and committed!

This is an invitation,
An invitation to real communication,
To honesty, authenticity, and above all to see me…
For one moment, just one second, to truly feel me…
and I know you’ll understand.

– Duane Hall
@lighthauspoetic
Spoke N’ Heard