These eight youth were chosen from a number of applicants from all over Ontario because of their dedication, creativity and interest in mental health. It has been a huge pleasure and adventure to work with them during our weekly online/teleconference meetings and we're confident in saying that everyone has had a blast!
The team created a PSA for iGetReal.ca but check out the behind the scenes footage.
To view the final PSA and to download the posters go to iGetReal.ca
Here are the Real youth behind iGetReal project
Alicia, 21, Waterloo
People should know that I love doing the unexpected, making people smile or laugh. I love trying new things and going on adventures. I am also pretty quirky and can balance a broom on my face :)
I became involved in Get Real because I think it’s important to educate people on mental illness and I think that we need to have more open honest conversations so that people feel it’s okay to talk about being mentally unwell. Also because mindyourmind is awesome.
I hope that we will inspire some honest conversations with people. Maybe make it okay for someone to finally admit to suffering and get help. Maybe make a friend or family member of a mentally ill person a little less scared of what their loved one being sick means and tell them that helping someone doesn't have to be hard. And maybe, people will finally start to understand that being mentally unwell doesn't mean someone is crazy or dangerous - that they are unwell and can get better. Oh! and that everyone realizes how awesome mindyourmind is :)
Camila, 24, London
One thing that people should know about me is that I love to make fantasy tales a fact of reality.
I became involved in Get Real because I believe in change and I want to be a part of it.
My hope is that we will bring hope to those who need it again.
Kamilla, 18, Ottawa
As a youth, I advocate for the mental health community here in Ottawa through a 'for youth, by youth' organization called Youth-Net. We strive to educate others on mental health, and aim at destigmatizing mental illness through the many initiatives, workshops, and events we provide.
I became involved in Get Real because I thought it was a great project that works to get a great message across, for a very good purpose! The fact that it is entirely brought upon with idea from youth directly, particularly from all over the province - is a super spectacular opportunity that I knew I didn't want to miss out on. Yet alone, working on a province-wide project, has made me more involved in Ontario as a whole, then just my own city.
My hope is that we will create a great PSA and bus shelter poster that will target many different audiences, grab their attention and send out a positive message on the importance of communication with mental health and will aim at destigmatizing the negative image and stereotype that is often brought upon mental illness
Brandon, 20, Innisfil
I believe that everyone you meet is an opportunity to learn more about what you want to get out of life, and who you want to be.
I became involved in Get Real because people don't give themselves a break.
My hope is that we will be able to get people to assess, and even re-evaluate their perceptions of mental health.
Stephanie, 20, London
I'm a big hockey fan. Go Flames Go!
I became involved in Get Real because as a nursing student with a passion for mental health, I want to erase the stigma associated with mental illness. With this in mind, I hope to alleviate the shame and embarrassment that people with mental illness may feel and help them find the courage and resources they need to reach out and get the help they need. No one should have to suffer through a mental illness on their own. Living life to your full potential extends past physical properties to include the mind, soul, and spirit.
My hope is that we will challenge public perception on mental illness and expose the truth about the suffering that mental illness can cause. Ultimately, I hope that we alleviate the shame and embarrassment that often couples mental illness and normalize the idea of seeking help.
Jacobi, 16, Tillsonburg
That I like to challenge myself by putting myself in various situations that I may or may not have experienced otherwise.
I became involved in Get Real because I know firsthand the experiences people with mental health issues have and know that we can overcome them and also work together to raise awareness.
My hope is that we will reach many people with our message, however if we even reach one our goal is accomplished.
Yun, 16, Hamilton
What’s one thing people should know about me is that I love animals, especially wolves.
I became involved in Get Real because I wanted to gain a new experience and the project sounded really interesting.
My hope is that we will be able to promote more awareness on mental health and how important friends can be.
Trina, 17, Sarnia
I have dedicated so many aspects of my life to helping others. I have participated in multiple groups with the Advocates Office for Children and Youth to change aspects of children's rights, and issues with policing and youth. I was also recently featured in the newspaper, Sarnia This Week, trying to bring awareness to children's mental health and I will speak out at a mental health rally in May.
I became involved with Get Real to help those who are either suffering from a mental illness or know someone who is. Because I have had experience with two mental illnesses, I feel that I can truly understand the issues surrounding mental health. Having mental health problems led me to meet many others in the same predicament so I can also relate to the struggle of helping a friend who is suffering from a mental health issue. Participating in this group kept me on the path to helping others.
My hope is that we will have an effect on at least one person's life.
Three of our iGetReal members weren’t able to participate in the filming of the PSA, so they chose these items to represent them within the video See if you can find them carefully hidden in the PSA at iGetReal.ca!