The mental health movement is large, complex, and driven by passionate people that can no longer wait for change. This movement is not new, many advocates before us have spent decades moving society into a place that is more accepting, empathic, and accommodating to people who experience mental health illness. They have worked tirelessly to get better and more humane mental health care for all. The New Mentality has spent the last 10 years dedicated to this movement, focusing on giving young people the platform to advocate for themselves, their loved ones and their peers. We have seen great change in the last 10 years. But it is not enough.
At Disable the Label, our annual summer training retreat for young leaders and their adult allies in the mental health system, we gathered to discuss the current needs of the mental health system in our province and in our local communities. 115 youth and adult allies participated in this conversation. Through talking about where there is a need for change in the mental health system we gathered a list of demands of where we see change needed now!
We are calling to our community members, mental health professionals, government employees, and local, provincial, and federal politicians to join us in our movement to make a mental health system that allows all young people to find the support they need when they need it.
These are our #DTLDEMANDS
Education and Awareness
- Better education not just within schools but hospitals, politics, ect. We need more professionals to understand mental health. Youth shouldn’t have to deal with so much stress.
- We want more money for public education to create awareness and more empathy towards mental health so that everybody can learn to care for each other
- SAFEtalk and Assist training for more authority figures
- Education about mental health at an early age.
- More funding for mental health services and community resources
- More financial commitment- stable and secure funding
- Fewer funding restrictions. If something makes sense for my community we need to be able to do it
- Funding and support for rural and northern communities – we needed funding YESTERDAY
- Mental health classes in the curriculum in school
- Mental health training for teachers
- More funding. Increase transparency and accountability.
- When I sign out from school there’s not an option for a mental health day. I need that!
- Better awareness of IEPs at early stage
Waitlists / Access
- NO WAIT LIST
- More qualified professionals
- More residential treatment centres for youth at need. They can’t stay at hospitals.
- More affordable housing
- Stop criminalization of mental health re: homelessness
- Disability – a lot of of the ODSP workers don’t understand my needs
- We want things to be equal – equitable
- treating young people and allies equally
Politics and Making Change
- Youth should be kept in mind when making policies. They talk about us being the face of the new generation. We need to be a priority. Don’t forget about us. We’re carrying the torch
- We want the opportunity to meet with politicians, include people with diversity into discussions
- Collaboration within the government, foundations, groups, people
- Government to come and see the youth in action would be a big step
- More open conversations about disabilities and mental health from politics. We are not heard enough!
Send us your #DTLDEMANDS!
This is your opportunity to voice your demands and let the political leaders know what changes you want to see carried out. The only way for this to happen is for us to work together and make it happen. Be a part of this movement because as one united voice we will be powerful enough to be noticed and we can create the change we want to see in our mental health system.
How can you get involved?
- Create a video with at least 3 demands that you want to make happen in the mental health system and write them on pieces of paper
- Then nominate your friends, family, co-workers, teachers, and classmates and post the video on your social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter…etc)
- Send us your demands @TNMengage on Twitter and Facebook!
- Make sure you use the hashtags #YouthDemands and #DTLDemands in your video and in your social media post
- Don’t forget to tweet out your demands to @Kathleen_Wynne current Premier of Ontario and Leader of the Liberal Party, the leader of the PC Party Patrick Brown @brownbarrie and Leader of the NDP Party @AndreaHorwath
- If you don’t want to make a video find another creative way to share your demands!
Create your own video!