Barrie, January 30, 2017 – The New Mentality Group, Never Lose Your Flame, which works collaboratively with New Path Youth and Family Services (New Path), has received a Dare to Dream (D2D) grant from the Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health (the Centre). The grant will enable the group to put into action plans to hold 4 separate events to raise awareness of and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health among youth within the Simcoe County community. The planned events include an open mic night with presenters, performances and karaoke, an information night at the Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library, a Strike Out Stigma free bowling event at Underground Bowl in Bradford and a colour run (or walk) which is a paint race that celebrates health and wellness.
The youth-led group, which has been working in collaboration with New Path Care and Treatment Workers and Adult Allies, Debbie Shea and Laura Andrews, has been thinking about planning these events since the summer and are thrilled that they will now officially be able to implement them.
“New Path Youth and Family Services has been a leader in youth engagement within our community and the New Mentality group has been a great opportunity to allow youth to develop and create community awareness events for Children’s Mental Health Week,” says Shea. “This grant allows us to creatively educate the community about children’s mental health and let other youth see that there is a support network for those experiencing struggles. They don’t have to do it alone.”
In addition to hosting these events, youth will be responsible for remaining in contact with D2D, creating timelines and budgets and providing updates on the group’s progress. “We have been so fortunate this year to have so many passionate youth involved with Never Lose Your Flame. The events and processes are largely driven by them (the youth) and we hope to see lots of community members out to support these initiatives during Children’s Mental Health week in May,” says Shea.
In Simcoe County it is estimated that over 20,000 children and youth presently need help with mental health concerns. Of these, only one in six seek out and receive the specialized treatment services they require. Many who experience mental health struggles often do so alone in fear of judgement and discrimination. Youth in particular are reluctant to seek help due to their struggles being minimized and fear of ridicule from their peers. Ending the stigma related to mental health will allow a community of support and encouragement, reducing the number of young people continuing to suffer alone.
The Never Lose Your Flame, New Mentality group meets every Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Barrie Common Roof, 165 Ferris Lane. Youth participants get high-school volunteer hours and gain experience in designing and implementing community events. Snacks are also provided. If you are or know of a youth who would like to get involved, please come out. For more information about The New Mentality you can check out the website www.thenewmentality.ca
or contact Debbie Shea, firstname.lastname@example.org
or Laura Andrews, email@example.com
To learn more about New Path Youth and Family Services, to donate, or get involved please visit www.newpath.ca
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About New Path Youth and Family Services of Simcoe County
New Path Youth and Family Services of Simcoe County is a government supported, registered not for profit charitable organization. We are an accredited children’s mental health agency providing a range of innovative and accessible services for children, youth and their families throughout Simcoe County. We are the Lead Agency in Simcoe County for Moving on Mental Health (MOMH) committed to leading system change in the County. As Lead Agency, New Path seeks to enhance the experience and outcomes of children, youth and their families seeking assistance with mental health and wellness.