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Get Real NationWide Week 7

As a group of youth from across Canada, we have been meeting online for 7weeks with the ultimate goal of designing resource materials and a social marketing campaign that reaches youth with mental illness and the general public. This session was our first opportunity to start brainstorming with each other about what we would like these resources and campaign to focus on. It is an interesting process to get about 15 heads together, who are stretched out all across Canada, to develop an idea to work on as a group. There were a lot of great ideas posed and it will be interesting to see how this project evolves.Some of the ideas that were brought up seemed to focus on two areas: designing a campaign that addresses the discrimination that people face due to their mental illness and other aspects of their identity and also creating materials that educate the general population about mental illness. When talking about discrimination people brought up a lot of good points about how certain groups are silenced in society and it is important to provide resources that address how mental illness and other forms of discrimination (like homophobia, racism, etc.) relate to each other. We talked about designing resources for the LGBTQ community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer), people with Aspergers, or people who in some way feel they are different and alientated from society. There was also a point made about addressing how substance abuse can be a big issue for people battling with a mental illness.Educational material is a topic that keeps coming up as well. People talked about how there needs to be more presentations and posters that educate people about mental illness as well as tell people where they can get support. These presentations and posters especially need to be present in schools. It was also discussed that there are barriers to reaching out for support, such as costs and availability, and people need to know what is accessible to them. One comment was made about when we encourage people to reach out for help, they need to be able to get that help that they need. Encouraging people to reach out isn’t enough if there are no resources available or if counsellors dont understand people’s needs, especially for youth.We’ve got a lot of great ideas going and it will be really interesting to see what comes out of this project as we continue to learn about social marketing and share more ideas with each other.Written by Get Real NationWide participant Capp, 24, Nova Scotia