Throughout the sector, there is a growing sense of commitment to youth engagement and to finding ways for youth voice to be heard at all levels of the system. It is an exciting time of growth and opportunity.
The New Mentality is currently accepting new partner agencies to start New Mentality Groups. Starting a group and becoming part of the TNM network gives your organization access to implementation support, ongoing adult ally support, and special access to TNM events and initiatives. A detailed overview of our partnership requirements and benefits can be found here.
We will be hosting a Introduction to The New Mentality Webinar on Thursday, December 1 from 10-11am that will provide more information about The New Mentality, including how our youth groups are structured and the supports that we offer. We will also walk through the steps involved in launching a group. The intended audience includes Executive Directors, Clinical Directors, and potential Adult Allies (any staff within the agency that will be able to commit time toward supporting the TNM group).
Why “Waiting For Change”? In 2015 the Youth Action Committee members drew from their own personal experiences and stories told to them by other youth, that child and youth mental health wait lists were extremely long and was impacting their overall well-being. In response, the YAC hosted its inaugural Youth Mental Health Summit, Waiting for Change. The goal of the summit was to engage youth in the creation of specific policy recommendations to improve wait times for mental health services and to better support, children, youth and families when they are unable to access the treatment they need.
After two years of collecting stories and youth-led recommendations from other young people across the province to address the issue of wait times in the child and youth mental health system on Monday, November 21, our provincial Youth Action Committee released its first zine, Waiting for Change! This zine outlines four recommendations for how we can make change happen: two ideas to shorten wait times and two ideas for helping youth manage while they wait for services.
We would like to thank the members of the 2015 and 2016 Youth Action Committee, Amanda, Travis, Nicole, Sabrina, Matt, Zara, Cherish, Shannon, and Beth for dedicating their time, energy and passion to this project.
We would also like to thank the attendees of the 2015 Waiting For Change Youth Summit, Disable the Label 2016 participants, and all the other young people who shared their voice and ideas to improve wait times in Ontario. Finally, we would like to thank Children’s Mental Health Ontario for supporting the Youth Action Committee’s vision for this project.