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Mission and History
mindyourmind exists in the space where mental health, wellness, engagement and technology meet. We work with young people aged 14 to 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.
"The organization operates like a family. I have always felt valued and supported, and they have inspired me to value and support others in the same way. I have developed many meaningful and reciprocal relationships from this organization." ~ Oline, 25
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 well-being 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.
mindyourmind grew out of the Youth Discovery Program, part of the London Mental Health Crisis Service, 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 professional portal, mindyourmindpro.ca, 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,
In 2010 we hosted our first International Youth Day Mashup event and our website was visited by over 190 countries. 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 likes 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 App into the local London community, with growth continuing across Ontario and the added languages of Arabic and French. In 2015, we had 692,698 pageviews on mindyourmind.ca, we engaged 167 young adult partners for 1,345 hours and presented to over 11,000 participants and attendees at schools, conferences and community events. We also worked with Telus Canada to develop a new wellness-based mobile app called thinkFull.
In 2016, we transitioned to ConnexOntario as our parent organization and continued project development work including a Healthy Relationship program with the Canadian Red Cross, and resources for newcomer youth with the Ottawa Youth Services Bureau to help their families talk about mental health and wellness.
In 2017, our program transitioned to the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. This year also brought increased focus on community partnership developments, including the development of curriculum for Indigenous Youth, Youth with Diabetes, a Financial Literacy tool, and a guide to help youth who are at risk of homelessness. mindyourmind’s website mytoolkit.ca increased its growth with eLearning modules that mindyourmind co-created - including subjects such as Substance Use, Moving to High School, Stress, Wellness, and a Dance Curriculum. The mindyourmind.ca website was also redesigned and launched bringing a marked increase in numbers of visitors.
2018 brings continued growth and reach to all of mindyourmind’s platforms. Our social media channels include curated daily Wellness Tips, and conversations with youth on a global scale, demonstrating their impact with record numbers for our program. By partnering with like-minded youth-serving organizations we can co-create resources together and develop innovative digital tools and resources for youth and young adults that are unique in their evolution. Youth Advisory Councils, Podcasts series and a new Government of Canada Youth Service Initiative are some of the projects we are focusing on this year.