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In Your Words - Faculty of Education at Western University, mindyourmind, youth team - 2015

Researchers from Western University partnered with mindyourmind staff and a youth team (7 youth aged between 18-25) to co-create guidelines that support youth in telling their personal story with mental illness.

What is it about?

The project aimed to co-create guidelines that best support youth in the process of telling their story about living with a mental illness.

What did we do?

Through a Design Studio format (35 hours in total) the youth team worked together to:

  • determine what it means to tell your story about mental health
  • clarify how to make a decision about whether or not to tell your story
  • formulate your story in a meaningful way (if you decided to do so).
What did we learn?

Youth were invested in:

  • “Reclaiming their identity as best experts”.
  • “Refuting” negative perceptions about people living with mental illnesses.
  • “Recognizing their unique strengths and potential” to effect change.

Source: Atkins, M. A & Rodger, S. (2015). 'Coming Out' in Canada:  Redesigning an anti stigma manual for youth, by youth. Poster session presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Toronto, ON.

How can you use this?
  • People who want to tell their story may benefit from these tips from other youth who have been there.
  • The Top 10 Tips poster and the animated Powtoon video are tools to support a discussion between people.
  • Co-creative research partnerships have great potential in making the research and results more relevant.