These past 4 weeks have been amazing, getting to meet our New Mentality groups from across the province!
Last week, I had the chance to connect with the adult allies of our New Mentality group in Elgin and Oxford counties that are with our partner agency Wellkin Child and Youth Mental Wellness. Before I do my virtual group visit, I make sure that I connect with the adult allies beforehand. It is important to me to recognize the incredible adult allies that make up our network, and all the hard work they put in!
I was eager to meet the adult allies, as they have been so busy working hard to support their youth and their community. I’m a pretty big fan of these two adult allies, as I’ve seen how they uplift their youth and make sure their voices are heard at every level. As always, this group is so busy from working on implementing and building sensory walls at their agency, writing an open letter to the employers of youth in their community, working on a big Children’s Mental Health Week event coming up in a few months and on top of that running their weekly Youth Hub on Thursdays… and you might not believe me, but I’ve just touched the surface of all the work they are doing!
I really appreciate the adult allies as they continuously share with their youth the importance of flowing between rest and action. With all of us, having almost been a year into the pandemic, it’s important to make time for rest and play.
After many laughs, and connecting over the many accomplishments the group has done and continues to do, I was eager to attend The Hub where one of the youth would be hosting a games night for youth in the community. The Hub is a weekly drop-in wellness space for youth aged 13 to 25, and youth from our New Mentality group at Wellkin were leaders in creating this space. I learned that initially The Hub was supposed to happen in person, but due to COVID they quickly turned it into a Virtual Hub! In the times we are in now, it’s important to prioritize relationship building. To learn more about The Hub click here, and about the exciting news that Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Resilient Communities Fund has funded to expand the Hub here!
I was eager to attend and learn new games to play online! I was so impressed by the youth in our network who was leading and facilitating the session. There was fun music playing at the beginning to get us dancing, a warm welcome, and a powerful acknowledgement of the land we are on. I loved that everyone was given the option through Zoom polls to choose what game they would like to play, and the majority of us selected our first game to be Pop Culture Trivia which was so fun and so well put together, not to mention there were some big Marvel fans in the space! After that, we played emoji decoding, and again I was so amazed by how much work and effort was put into planning this…..and as the renowned PowerPoint queen, I might have to give my title up to this youth!
I’m looking forward to visiting all the youth virtually again soon, and can’t wait for when we can gather again in person, and connect about all the amazing work they continue to do!
See you all soon on zoom,
Fizza Abbas, Network Coordinator