Be There online resource helps youth support one another

Toronto, Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Jack.org has created a new resource for youth called Be There. Be There is a comprehensive and engaging free online resource where young people can learn how to support each other through mental health struggles.

Created in consultation with over 1,400 youth across Canada, Be There provides videos, advice and stories from young people on how to recognize when someone might be struggling with their mental health, and provides 5 Golden Rules for how to support them.

As the conversation around mental health shifts, young people feel more encouraged to share their struggles and ask for help; but often their friends and families don’t know how to respond.

In a survey of 1,200 young people across Canada, 83% said they’ve supported a friend struggling with their mental health. Only 39% of them felt they were adequately prepared to offer the support that was needed. Be There was created to help give young people the knowledge, skills and confidence to properly support one another.

Kenzie Brenna was involved in the creation of Be There and now acts as an ambassador for the resource. Kenzie has struggled with an eating disorder and body image issues and knows that resources are needed to help support others struggling with their mental health. “When I look back into my past self, into the moments when I was most sick, I often ask myself, ‘Why didn’t someone step in?’ or, ‘Why wasn’t someone helping me more?’ We tell people frequently to reach out and connect when they are going through something hard but when they do, are we fully equipped to properly be there for them?” She is grateful for the tool, saying, “I only wish this came sooner, that we had it years ago, and that the stigma around mental illness was gone. But we have Be There now, it exists, and we need to use it.” You can read Kenzie’s story here.

Jack.org is dedicated to training and empowering young leaders to revolutionize mental health in every province and territory. Their vision is a Canada where every young person is comfortable talking about their mental health and those who need it get the help they deserve. To learn more, visit www.bethere.org