A look back: Bell Let’s Talk funding is making an impact

Fredericton , Tuesday, May 1, 2018

A modest gift can make a huge difference in the right hands.

That’s what more than 140 New Brunswick young people are finding.

They are participants in the expanded Youth In Action for Mental Health program run by Partners For Youth Inc., an organization that engages youth who are facing challenges, working to inspire them to realize their potential and become capable, connected and contributing members of society.

The modest gift was a $20,000 grant from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund. Partners For Youth has put the money to good use as part of its ongoing effort to develop innovative programs and services that promote experiential learning in safe, supportive and rewarding environments.

Specifically, the funding enabled Youth in Action for Mental Health to be expanded to an additional 12 schools across the province during the 2016-2017 school year. The program brings together students and teachers, first to understand mental wellness and mental illness, and then to promote their findings through awareness campaigns at their high schools.

Through a peer-based model, Youth in Action for Mental Health teams participated in facilitated workshops and activities to increase their understanding of mental health, mental illness and wellness. The teams then designed and participated in awareness campaigns related to youth mental health in their own schools. These youth-led campaigns showcased the power of youth-led social action projects.

Cindy Miles, Interim Chief Executive for Partners For Youth says the impact was remarkable:

“Students came up with ideas and campaigns that we would never have imagined. They problem solved issues that were relevant to their school community and through a peer-to-peer model they were able to educate and support other students. Not only did they support a space for others to feel safe to explore mental health conversations, they supported a space for others to feel brave to talk about their own mental health and to know that it is okay to ask for help.”

The Bell Let's Talk Community Fund supports frontline organizations improving access to mental health programs and services in every region of Canada. In addition to its major gifts to leading mental health care and research institutions nationwide and other programs, Bell has supported more than 400 local and grassroots mental health organizations in every region with the Community Fund. The 2018 grant recipients will be announced in the fall.

Caption: Staff of Partners for Youth and members of their Youth in Action for Mental Health accepting Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grant.