Lutherwood and KW Counselling

1770 King St E, Kitchener, ON N2H 1H5; 480 Charles St E, Kitchener ON, N2G 4K5

Adult Ally

Tina Summer

Email Tina

The New Mentality (TNM) is a provincial network of youth and adult allies working to amplify the voices of young people to influence change within the mental health system and beyond. Through a partnership between Lutherwood and KW Counselling Services, we our proud to bring The New Mentality to Waterloo Region. We call ourselves “Ignite”. Our work is based in the belief that young people experiencing mental health challenges are able to contribute to building and improving the mental health system. We are working towards breaking down the stigma associated with mental health while advocating for easy access to mental health care in our community. Being a member of Ignite, is also about valuing your lived experience, being an expert in your own mental health journey, valuing the lived experience of others and recognizing that together we have important life experiences and wisdom to contribute. To do all of this, we create brave spaces with support structures to ensure that each young person can speak openly and safely about their experiences. Interested in Joining?! We meet bi-weekly on Tuesday evenings from 5:30-7. Bus tickets can be provided for transportation support.

Our Projects

We wanted to do something that would make a big impact on other youth in our community, so we decided that we would like to focus on public education and sharing our experiences. In particular, it was important for us to get into the schools so that we can connect with our peers and fill the gap that we believe exists in local schools surrounding mental health awareness. This was a HUGE success. We managed to speak at almost 20 different events, ranging from large public events to smaller classroom talks. We spoke to school board administrators, teachers, mental health workers, executive directors and peers.

We also want to focus on expanding our group to different agency programs and to reach youth in rural areas.

What Happens at Ignite Group Meetings?

The group meets bi-weekly (except during the summer) at the KW Counselling Services site located at 480 Charles Street E in Kitchener. Meetings are scheduled for 2 hours and snacks are provided. We begin each meeting with a check in or ice breaker activity. During the meetings we discuss the goals for our group, brainstorm ideas around how we will support our vision, assign or complete tasks as a group, and prepare for upcoming planned projects. We also set time aside to simply enjoy time together including social outings, holiday parties, pizza nights, etc.

Our Ignite group is motivated to reduce stigma regarding mental health and to engage in our community to share the voices of youth with lived experience.