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Youth Canada Service Corps Initiative
Young Canadians building a better Canada.
The Canada Service Corps (CSC), funded by the Government of Canada, provides youth the opportunity to be engaged and involved in their communities in a variety of ways. Twelve national organizations across the country are offering innovative and inspiring projects for youth and young adults. The #RisingYouth grant is available for any youth who is interested in improving their community and provides supports to develop and execute these ideas.
mindyourmind is traveling to five different communities across the country! Youth in each community volunteer to spend the weekend participating in our Design Lab, where we co-create mental health resources for their community. It has been exciting to be a part of unique communities and respect that mental health programs are not “one size fits all”. Youth who volunteer to be a part of these projects are provided valuable skills and transferable experience to use in their day to day life, at school, and at work.
Design Lab #1: Squamish, BC
mindyourmind’s first partnership was with Sea to Sky Community Services and a group of ten youth, in Squamish, BC. Our Design Studio weekend was followed up by 12 webinars and the launching of a new interactive e-module AND a game that both educate young people about mental health issues. The game has special meaning to the Squamish community as it features the Chief, which is a landmark mountain in the town. One of the most exciting features is that both the e-module and the game are in French AND Punjabi (which happens to be one of the top languages spoken in Squamish). The group decided that for the launch of their products, they would host an event at their school to promote their resource!
Learn more about the Squamish youth team and see what they developed.
Design Lab #2: Halifax, NS
mindyourmind partnered with Heartwood Centre for Youth Community Development, Laing House and ten youth from Halifax. We spent a fun and productive weekend in Design Studio mode, where a focus was on: self care, mental health 101, and gratitude and community. After our weekend in Halifax, we finalized a mental health workbook and three videos! We hosted a series of webinars with the youth team to put the finishing touches on the resources, and the Logistics Crew is planning on hosting evening event to showcase their products!
Learn more about the Halifax youth team and see what they developed.
Design Lab #3: Windsor, ON
mindyourmind’s next adventure brought us to Windsor, Ontario, where we spent time with a group of young people with Hotel Dieu Grace Healthcare https://www.hdgh.org/ and their lovely staff! This group was full of passion and ideas; they created a self care quiz, How’s It Growing and a mental health workbook, called Border Town. This group was excited to get these resources out into the community and went to various locations to hang out books and to promote the game!
Learn more about the Windsor youth team and see what they developed.
Design Lab #4: Arviat, NU
mindyourmind’s next adventure brought us to Arviat, Nunavut. It was such an opportunity to be there; we spent time with a group of young people from this hamlet and two amazing Mental Health workers from the Department of Health.
The group decided they wanted to make a culturally interactive workbook titled Nuna, filled with recipes, self care tips, drawings, and much more! Nuna is translated into Inuktitut, French, and English and has be shipped and shared with the Arviat community!
Learn more about the Arviat youth team and see what they developed.
Design Lab #5 Winnipeg, MB
mindyourmind’s fifth adventure brought us to Winnipeg, Alberta, where we worked with the YMCA Newcomer Youth Wellness coordinator and a group of refugee youth. This was a lively group, full of energy and passion! They decided to make a newcomer trivia game, Welcome to Canada, and a motivational poster series for youth coming to Canada. We had so much fun developing these resources and were happy to have sent them to the Winnipeg community!
Learn more about the Winnipeg youth team and see what they developed.
Design Lab #6: Online Mentorship
As the pandemic hit mindyourmind transitioned to organising our first virtual design lab. We put a call out for youth across Canada to come join us for 12 weeks on zoom. Youth were provided one on one mentorship in creating and implementing their own projects through the Rising youth grant. It was truly amazing to see how each individual youth was able to bring their ideas to fruition.
Learn more about the Spring/Summer 2020 youth team and see what they developed!
Design Lab #7: Thrive
mindyourmind’s second virtual design lab brought together another excited group of seven youths. Together they decided to co-create two resources that focused on addressing obstacles that young people faced and how to overcome them. The first is a journal called Thrive: One Province at a Time (available in English, French and Hindi!), within it you can find journal prompts, colouring pages and much more, everything centering around the theme of self discovery. The second resource is called Destination Life, it is a virtual game that takes you on a journey through challenges and obstacles working towards personal growth.
Learn more about the Summer and Fall 2020 youth team and see what they developed!
Design Lab: Elements
In the Winter/Spring of 2021 mindyourmind hosted a modified version of our traditional design labs in collaboration with Taking it Global. We organized virtual focus groups with our youth to brainstorm themes and ideas to create a book. The group decided they wanted nature to be the underlying theme, thus the name Elements (available in English, French and Tlicho!). The book focuses on looking within yourself and your community for strength and inspiration. It is filled with introspective prompts, wellness activities, recipes and more.
Learn more about the Elements youth team and see what they developed!
Design Lab #8: Growth
In the spring of 2021 mindyourmind continued our online design labs. In this cohort we had a group of youth who were extremely passionate about addressing the mental health needs of youth during the pandemic. As a result we co-created a self care book called Growth, Grow Your Own Story (available in English, French and Punjabi!) to share with youth around the country.
Learn more about the Spring 2021 youth team and see what they developed!
Design Lab #9: Online Mentorship
For our fourth virtual design lab mindyourmind went back to a mentorship model. We had youth join us from all around Canada with some creative and path breaking ideas. Our big team broke into three different groups and co created a discord community forum, a podcast and mental health toolkits.
Learn more about the Summer 2021 youth team and see what they developed!
Design Lab #10: Online Mentorship
In the fall of 2021 we partnered with rising youth to provide virtual mentorship for another group from across Canada. Youth learned key skills such as project implementation and grant writing. Similar to previous design labs the team split into two groups and created a self care kit and a mental health calendar.
Learn more about the Fall 2021 youth team and see what they developed!
Design Lab #11: Self Expression
The Self Expression design lab was one of its kind. Organized on a virtual platform we had a group of extremely creative youth come join us on a journey in learning different forms of self expression over a 6 week period. mindyourmind brought in three local creatives to teach dance, poetry and storytelling after which youth were given the space to present their self expression piece through a showcase talent show. As a group we co-created a list of tips for those who were interested in engaging in self expression but were not sure how to start.
Learn more about the Self Expression youth team and see what they created!
Design Lab #12: Stay tuned!
About Design Labs
This section is all about the work we do with youth in Design Labs. From community groups to International Youth Day celebrations check them out.