Meet Our 2018 safeTALK Trainers!

January 31, 2018

In 2018 The New Mentality will travel across the province to deliver 10 safeTALK trainings to over 250 youth and adult allies in order to improve our network’s capacity to support people experiencing suicidal feelings. This training will provide individuals with the knowledge on how to notice and respond to situations where suicidal thoughts might be present. 

safeTALK is an alertness training that prepares anyone over 15, regardless of prior experience or training, to become a suicide-alert helper. safeTALK has found that most people with thoughts of suicide don’t truly want to die, but are struggling with the pain in their lives. Through their words and actions, they invite help to stay alive. safeTALK-trained helpers can recognize these invitations and take action by connecting them with life-saving treatment intervention resources, such as Ontario community-based mental health system.

This project was made possible through the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund! Along with training TNM staff members Mary-Anne Leahy and Caralyn Quan to become safeTALK trainers, this grant is allowing us to support 3 members of our New Mentality Network to become trainers as well!

We are happy to announce Austin Bertrand, Ellen Renaud, and Jermaine will also join us in becoming safeTALK trainers!

Austin Bertrand

Austin is studying to become a Child and Youth Worker at Algonquin College in Ottawa. He is a TNM Alumni of The New Mentality Mirthful Minds in Ottawa and was a Youth Apprentice on the 2016 and 2017 Disable the Label Hosting Team. In Austin’s words: “Becoming a SafeTalk trainer is important to me because suicide is still very stigmatized in our community and not talked about enough. Being in the Child and Youth Care field I believe it is important to provide suicide awareness training to as many people as we can to help break the stigma around mental illness and suicide. I look forward to using the skills I gain as a SafeTalk trainer in my future career as a Child and Youth Care Practitioner.”

Ellen Renaud

Ellen is an Adult Ally for our New Mentality Group in Timmins! Ellen is passionate about bring this training to northeastern Ontario. Ellen explains, “an increasing number of aboriginal youth in Northern Ontario are killing themselves (Eggertson, 2015).  The impact of these suicides have a ripple effect within the youth’s community and as well neighbouring communities. Suicide is preventable so knowing the signs is the first step, knowing the words to engage the individual and reach out to community supports is key to preventing suicide. I am excited for this opportunity to help make communities in the northeast safer by training youth and adults to become suicide-alert helpers.”

Jermaine Henry

Jermaine has worked with The New Mentality as a Lead Host for Disable the Label for the past 3 years. He is a Social ARTrepreneur who is passionate about connecting and inspiring people to self-actualize. Through drama, emceein’, facilitation and spoken word, he co-creates meaningful moments rooted in compassion and courage. Jermaine facilitates trainings across the province, his mission is to use his artistry and facilitation skills to curate brave spaces to promote freedom, love and equity.

Mary-Anne Leahy & Caralyn Quan

New Mentality staff members Mary-Anne and Caralyn are very excited for this opportunity for the network. We partner with 22 TNM groups across Ontario. One of their main activities is hosting events and speaking in their communities, with a focus on reducing stigma and educating their peers on local services. Due to the nature of this work, our youth and adult allies act as informal gatekeepers – they are often the initial contact for people talking about mental health issues. As such it is important that they are knowledgeable about mental health, know the resources available in their community, and are prepared on what to do after community presentations and events when an individual might be suicidal. We are excited to become safeTALK trainers so we can build our network’s capacity and continue to offer this important training past this grant.

Stay tuned in the upcoming months for more information about training dates and locations!

Thank you to the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund for making this project possible! Today is #belletstalk day! The 2018 Bell Let’s Talk Day awareness campaign spotlights personal stories from Canadians of all ages from all walks of life living with mental illness or providing support for those who do.

We hope that you and your friends, family and colleagues will join the conversation! Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @TNMengage and Facebook @Thenewmentality

Bell will donate 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for each of these interactions on Bell Let’s Talk Day, at no extra cost to participants:

  • Text and talk: Every text message, mobile and long distance call made by Bell Canada, Bell Aliant and, new this year, Bell MTS customers in Manitoba
  • Twitter: Every tweet using #BellLetsTalk and Bell Let’s Talk Day video view
  • Facebook: Every view of the Bell Let’s Talk Day video and use of the Bell Let’s Talk frame
  • Instagram: Every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view
  • Snapchat: Every use of the Bell Let’s Talk geofilter and video view