Meet The Regional Team

Afiya

Grade 7

I joined YouthTALK because want to get more information of what mental health and wellness is so I can help others.  I look forward to the important and engaging activities that I will do in YouthTalk to help the youth.

After coming into YouthTALK, I have gained better understanding of what mental wellness/ illness is.  I have learned of various coping strategies and resources that can help the youth.

Emily

Off to University!!  

At the age of 11, I was diagnosed with a severe anxiety disorder that impacted my way of living in a number of different ways. Though it has been difficult working through it, it's also given me a lot of insight into the world of mental health and therapy. Since my diagnoses, all I've ever wanted to do was to be an advocate for others like me. Those who felt alone and were unsure what they were going through because the conversation around mental health was so limited. I wanted to be their voice. When I attended my first YouthTalk conference, I knew almost immediately that I wanted to be apart of the change they were making. Now, I get to talk directly with other youth who may be in a similar situation to what I was in a few years ago, or know someone who is, and give them the knowledge and resources they need in order to seek help. I always say that knowing that we've helped at least one person is easily the most rewarding thing I get from being apart of this brilliant team. 

 

Through YouthTalk, not only have I made incredible friends, but I've also learned a lot about myself! Since joining this amazing team, I realized that I want to go on to major in Psychology in University, and continue to be an active advocate for mental wellness in my school and greater community. I've also gained strong leadership and organizational skills, on top of having strengthened my public speaking skills. YouthTalk has given me a plethora of opportunities to also network with other mental health representatives in our community, providing me other chances to let me voice be heard. 

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Ariq

Grade 9

I joined the YouthTALK group to engage in entertaining activities to enthusiastically find ways to improve our mental state. I really enjoy being a part of this team and hope to continue participating in these joyful, and meaningful events to improve the mental well being of ourselves and others.

I learned the importance of mental health and ways to improve our mental condition. I learned that you can do simple activities to improve mental state such as, playing a sport, drawing a picture, reading a book, and other simple activities that will put your mind on something else.

Kristan

I'm Kristan.  I'm currently in grade 12 but I'm graduating next month and hopefully starting post secondary in the fall.  My friend actually wanted me to join the YouthTALK in school team with her when we were in grade nine. She ended up never coming back after the first few meetings but I really liked what the whole program was about and decided to keep going with it. I ended up being the only stable member of the team but with the help of Jess and two other teachers we planned and ran a mini conference right in the school! The two teachers who ran the team ended up leaving at the end of my grade nine year so I decided to join the regional team to keep expanding my knowledge about mental health and I wanted to meet new people who have the same passions that I have.

I have gained so many useful skills while being in YouthTALK. I'm at a more comfortable place speaking in front of people than I have been since 6th grade when I had my first encounter with anxiety. 

Also while in YouthTALK I've had the chance to meet and make connections with a lot of people in my community as well as the communities surrounding my own. Another bonus has been the life long friends that I've made. Having people that check in on you and that you can trust has been a very nice out-of-meeting perk!

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Bree

I’m Bree and I was in Grade 8. I joined YouthTALK because I wanted to make a difference and contribute to my community. At first, I wasn’t sure where to start, but as soon as I heard about YouthTALK and what they do, I knew instantly that I wanted to be a part of their amazing team. YouthTALK has given me so much and continues to teach me new things. I’ve always been a shy and quiet person, but YouthTALK has helped me tremendously in getting the confidence I need to speak up for myself and advocate for what is right. It has also taught me so many important life lessons and skills that I will continue to use as I grow. This program has helped me be more aware and see things from a different point of view. I have a better understanding of the different emotions and issues other people may be experiencing.

YouthTALK has been one of the most rewarding and life-changing experiences I’ve ever had. I feel that since being a part of YouthTALK, I am wiser, more educated, and more compassionate than I have ever been. In YouthTALK, I feel like a valued member, and being able to incite change and help others is so fulfilling. YouthTALK is a place to raise awareness about mental health and provide resources for the community, but it is also so much more than that. It is a place where people can speak freely about mental health without judgment or stigma, a place that pushes others through new learning experiences and creates meaningful change in our community. At first, I wondered if YouthTALK would be too challenging or scary for a shy person like me but I am so glad I joined. Without YouthTALK, I don’t think I would have blossomed into the confident and outspoken person I am today."