A new youth-led report released by Jack.org outlines how adult allies can better support and promote youth mental health across Canada.
The Youth Voice Report 2019 is the result of Jack.org’s engagement with over 500 members through surveys and focus groups over the past year to determine the role of adult allies, as well as with youth groups at post-secondary institutions nationally to better understand the strengths and challenges associated with local mental health systems.
The report includes five key recommendations to assist adult allies and decision-makers on how to best promote youth mental health, including:
- Protect, promote, and maintain positive youth mental health on campuses by offering a broad range of mental health resources
- Consult students on what changes to the education system or at specific institutions would positively impact their mental health
- Ensure social media better promotes mental health, including developing guidelines for young people on how to use social media in healthy ways
- Deliver services that meet young people’s unique needs by engaging young people in discussions of how to deliver mental health services
- Support young people in navigating a complex mental health care system, so they can locate and access care the appropriate care in a timely fashion
Jack.org hopes results from the Youth Voice Report will be recognized as a call for collaboration. They, alongside their young leaders, are eager to work with adult allies to ensure young people know about the current systems in place and how they can serve them, while also closing the gaps where they exist. It’s their hope that the recommendations will be used to guide forward-thinking policies to build a better future.
Jack.org is a charitable organization that’s connected to a network of over 2,800 youth mental health advocates across the country. Within the network of young leaders, nearly two-thirds report having struggled with a mental health issue. In addition, a quarter of these youth identify as members of racialized populations and 17 per cent identify as members of the LGBTQ2S+ community.