The YMHAC Initiative aims to engage youth, help them understand what works and what doesn’t work, so they can problem solve and find solutions that support mental health promotion among peers. That’s why the Initiatives ultimately developed by youth during the training/ workshop are such an important aspect of the program.
In the YMHAC pilot program, youth developed a broad array of meaningful activities that promote awareness of mental health and substance use among peers and worked towards building resilient and supportive school environments and communities.
NOTE: These should be shared with Champions to help set expectations and inspire; not to replace the generation of new ideas.
Sample initiatives that were popular and/or unique include:
- “Chill room” (a comfortable, non-judgment space);
- Puppy visits to reduce stress;
- Wall mural that focuses on students’ favourite well- being measures;
- Worriless Wednesday (annointed monthly or weekly);
- Caught You Caring (awards given to youth who demonstrate leadership in mental heath advocacy and promotion);
- Yoga; and
- Health Fair.
You can help focus activities and narrow objectives to achieve desired outcomes by organizing activities into the following categories:
- Creating safe spaces;
- Resource and service awareness campaigns;
- Stigma reduction campaigns;
- Coping and stress management education and training;
- Caring and sharing moments; and
- Acknowledging youth and their voice.
Check out more Sample Activities with descriptions and desired outcomes.