I can’t believe I’m not even halfway through visiting all our TNM groups across the province (autocorrect wrote “across the globe”….maybe one day?)!
Last week I got to visit our TNM group in London with our partner agency Humana Community Services. I was only able to join a portion of their meeting, but I felt like I had known everyone for many years! The youth and adult allies were incredibly welcoming and made me feel so special. It took us no introductions at all to get straight into the entire group talking about how much spice they can handle and absolutely cannot handle….as a master of spices, I suggested everything should be spicy (others may disagree)! One youth was definitely on the same wavelength as me, and shared that they love eating Trinidadian Roti and how they’re going to try and have a Roti Night at a meeting soon and of course would invite me – Am I lucky or what? #rotiadvocacy
After lots of laughs, we got into our check in and I really liked the way they began their check in by sharing one good thing that happened this week and one thing that didn’t go so well but how they reframed it. This allows the group to have tools for self-care and be able to see a different perspective to not so great situations. I really appreciated how both the youth and adult allies were open to having honest, and vulnerable conversations in particular talking about anti-racism and how it is one of their goals to continue having these conversations both in and outside of the network.
Before our virtual group visits, it’s important to me to connect with the adult allies and check in as they are a huge part of the work we do! I came to learn of all the amazing projects the group is working on, especially during Children’s Mental Health Week. The theme of their week is How To Be Your Own Superhero, where they will be having activities daily from yoga, cooking classes, a professional dance routine, movie night to youth sharing their stories, and having an author come and speak at the event!
The energy in the space just made me so happy, and seeing how kind and excited the youth were for one another reminded me of just how incredibly magical our network truly is! It was also great to hear how interested the youth were in being a part of Disable the Label 2021 this summer as they weren’t able to attend last year.
Thank you to the youth and adult allies for such a warm welcome, and I can’t wait to see you soon at DTL 2021!
See you all soon on Zoom,
Fizza Abbas, Network Coordinator