The New Mentality is a group of youth ages 14-24 looking to make a change in the world of children and youth mental health. With the support of an adult ally, Tammy Halladay, the youth travel around the Kingston area presenting their stories of personal experiences with mental illness to teachers, students, parents, and other mental health agencies, in hopes of raising awareness of mental illness.
The group does not only share stories. They are often found playing games with their audiences to break the ice and facilitate conversation. Some favourites of the group include Where the Wind Blows, which encourages the participants to relate to others in the room about similarities that we all inevitably share with someone. Another favourite of the group is called the Line Game, which encourages participants to step forward from a line if they have experienced a scenario that has been stated, for example, “Step forward if you know someone with a mental illness”. This is to show that, for the most part, almost everyone knows someone who is struggling with their mental health. The purpose of these games is to decrease the stigmatization of mental illness and to show participants that they are not alone.
Why the New Mentality?
You may ask, “What is so special about the New Mentality?” and to that many of the members would respond with “family”. The New Mentality is so much more than just a group. It is a network of youth seeking peace and comfort in a way that also spreads the word that “we aren’t just the one in five”. Along with being an awareness group, the New Mentality has also become a support network for those a part of the group through open conversations, understanding beliefs and supportive attitudes. The members of the group are passionate about the work that is done because the reason they are here is that everyone has experienced mental illness, if not first hand, then with family and friends.
The New Mentality is sincerely a beacon of hope for those who are struggling with mental illness because it is proof that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and with coping strategies and support from those who care, it is possible to live a productive, happy life.
Meet The Kingston New Mentality Group Members!
My favourite part of group is being able to give back to the community
What I have learned from group is Patience!
My favourite part of group is being able to take on a leadership role
What I have learned from group are leadership skills
My favourite part of group is being able to speak publically in the community about mental health and giving youth a voice
What I have learned from group is LOTS!
My favourite part of group is educating the public and getting learn from others stories of mental illness
What I have learned from group is facts about mental health I did not know
My favourite part of group is doing presentations in the community
What I have learned from group is information about mental health that has changed my life
My favourite part of group is learning about disabilities while knowing that there are others out there with similar concerns
What I have learned from group are things about mental health and illness I never knew
My favourite part of group is spending time with people who do not judge you: it is a good place to go
What I have learned from group are strategies for addressing mental illness
My favourite part of group is being aple to connect with youth similar to me
What I have learned is how to support others with mental illness in simple ways
My favorite part of group is getting to talk to people knowing that I will recognize them which is comforting
What I have learned is that we can impact our community by being a group
Check out our Monthly 2018 Newsletter to learn more about stigma, our upcoming events, and our group members!