About mindyourmind

What is mindyourmind?

mindyourmind exists in the space where mental health, wellness, engagement and technology meet. We work with young people aged 14-29 to co-create interactive tools and innovative resources to build capacity and resilience.

We do this through our Design Studio model, in which young people work directly with facilitators, content experts, and designers to brainstorm, design, and develop our projects. Our goals are to promote wellness, reduce the stigma around mental health, and increase access to community supports, both professional and peer-based.

At mindyourmind, young people are valued as experts in their own experience and choose to engage in whichever way makes sense for them. Youth are involved in everything that we do, every step of the way. We explore, co-create and prototype using iterative cycles that involve youth and adult partners to discuss and design what matters to them in mental health. Our smoothie video is a great a look at our engagement approach.

Everything we do originates through interaction with youth and the professionals who serve them. Working alongside young people, every actor in the system has the potential to make meaningful change in how we conceptualize and ensure the mental wellbeing of Canadian youth. 

mindyourmind impacts systems change by increasing the capacity of young people to reach out, get help and give help through the use of technology, engagement and research-informed innovation.

Who works at mindyourmind?

Heather, Program Manager 
Heather is a passionate and enthusiastic youth ally who tries to find adventure in everyday life. She spends her work hours making connections and bringing a clinical perspective to our multi-disciplinary team. Heather has been with mindyourmind since 2006 and has experienced first-hand the powerful impact that results from combining youth, mental health and technology to create meaningful change. 

Andrea, Instructional Designer
A long-time educator who loves art, reading, movies, music and all things chocolate, Andrea studied Fine Art and Education at Western University, and has been teaching and working with young people since 2002. She started at mindyourmind in 2010, and loves the process of working with young adults and the rest of her team to develop resources that will, hopefully, expand people's knowledge and understanding of mental health.

Michelle, Creative Lead
Michelle is one of mindyourmind's founding members and can't imagine a more perfect position. The ‘Graphics Queen’ loves to collaborate with young people and expand on the creativity they bring. Michelle hates early morning meetings, Times New Roman and diabetes! She loves her laptop and iPhone and will always have one or the other in her hands.

Silence, Web and Community Developer
Made in Zimbabwe, refined in Canada, Silence has been with mindyourmind since 2008. He is a newly-minted father, wordsmith, community builder, radio host, and webpreneur. He is a firm supporter of our local community and enjoys afternoon tea parties and all kinds of food, especially those at Victoria Park Festivals in the summer. He loves playing soccer and sending 3am emails.

Chelsey, Communications Associate
Chelsey studies Speech Communication and Business at the University of Waterloo and is a passionate mental health advocate, focused on making resources known and available to everyone. Outside of work she loves reading, watching Netflix, and exploring new places.

Scarlett, Youth Development Coordinator 
Scarlett has been volunteering with mindyourmind since 2012 and is now a member of the staff team. As a Psychology graduate from King's University College at Western, she is passionate about all things related to the subject and is a proud mental health advocate. She also loves playing sports, spending time outdoors in the countryside, hanging out with friends and family, and playing board games.

Marnie, Engagement and Partnership Coordinator
Marnie has been happily working frontline in the mental health field for over a decade. She has spent years advocating for the youth she has served who experience mental health and addiction issues. She is beyond excited to continue working with youth and young adults by being a strong support for users of mindyourmind. Marnie always tries to find humour in everything and believes in the saying “Every day is a new day”. She goes by a variety of nicknames (Marsbar, Marnie the Carnie, Marns, etc) and enjoys gardening, swimming, relaxing and laughing with friends.

How is mindyourmind funded?

mindyourmind is a non-profit organization with three funding streams:

  • We receive our core annual funding from the Ministry of Children & Youth Services
  • Through our Design Studio model, we engage in local, provincial and national partnerships in order to facilitate co-creation partnerships with young people
  • By using marketing and business strategies we have monetized our Be Safe app which was developed with youth and youth serving professionals. Be Safe is an easy to use, accessible tool available 24/7 to support decision making during a crisis
What's the history of mindyourmind?

mindyourmind grew out of the Youth Discovery Program, part of the London Mental Health Crisis Service in 2001, facilitating groups in community based settings. In 2003 and 2004 mindyourmind ran two Youth Ambassador programs which resulted in the launch of the website, mindyourmind.ca, in 2005. In 2006, we became a program of Family Service Thames Valley and launched our pro portal, a website to support professionals who work with youth. In 2007 and 2008 we dove into social media with pages on mySpace, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

In 2009, mindyourmind faced an unknown future as we closed our doors for nine weeks. With the tremendous support from our partners and stakeholders, we returned stronger than ever. The following year, we validated our reach with 1320 hours of youth engagement hours, a program evaluation which showed that 65% of repeat visitors on mindyourmind.ca get help, and the hosting of our first International Youth Day Mashup event.

In 2010, our website was viewed over one million times, and in 2011 our engagement hours lept up to 2000 hours. In 2012, we completed a program evaluation showing six million interactions with youth over the course of the year. In 2013 we hit 6,500 followers on Twitter and 2,500 fans on Facebook, and fully redesigned our website. We were also honoured to receive annualized funding from the Ministry of Health as a sign of the value they place in our program and youth engagement work.

In 2014 we offered 284 hours of consultation to partners and engaged with youth for 575 hours on our co-design projects. We launched Be Safe into the local London community, with growth continuing across Ontario. In 2015 we had 692,698 pageviews on mindyoumind.ca, we engaged 167 young adult partners for 1345 hours and presented to over 11,000 participants and attendees at schools, conference and community events. In 2016, we transitioned to ConnexOntario as our parent organization and moved into our new offices at Innovation Works, in downtown London, Ontario. The program continues to grow and evolve, with the essential insights of young people.

Awards and Recognition
  • Horizon Interactive Award (2015)
  • Social Good Design Award (2015)
  • Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (2014)
  • Canadian Alliance of Mental Illness and Mental Health - Champions of Mental Health Award (2013)
  • Ontario Trillum Foundation (2011)
  • Libro Financial Group - Community Builder (2011)
  • Pillar Community Innovation Award (2010)
  • Holly Harrington - Lux Creative Design Award (2009)
  • CMHA Champion of Mental Health Award (2008)
  • Finalist - The Stockholm Challenge Information and Technology (2008)
  • Ontario Trillum Foundation (2008)
  • CMHA National Media Award (2008)
  • 25th Anniversary Great Grant Award (2007)
  • Finalist - The Stockholm Challenge Information and Technology (2006)
  • Pillar Innovation in Administration Award (2005)