Thursday, November 22, 2012

Moments of Change- Healthy Decision Making Fair




Today was the day! I went to the local high school, Cobequid Educational Centre, to set up my "Let's Call B.S." booth as part of the Healthy Decision Making Fair. The response was very positive from the students. Not only were they drawn to the booth (I am sure the title certainly helped curious students) but they asked questions, signed declarations, and took some materials to show their support. There were some students that showed their enthusiasm and came back with their friends so that they too could sign the declarations for change. Teachers also showed interest and I was able to hand out a few posters so that they could stick them up in their classrooms to promote as well.

The main thing that I am very pleased with is the amount of people who were willing to sign the declaration for change and be apart of the movement. My goal was to get all of the declarations signed that I had by noon. The Fair was scheduled 830am to 2pm however I was only able to stay till noon hour then in which time I had to jet for another priority. I started with 100 blank declarations and by the time I was finished, they were ALL SIGNED. This makes me very happy to have them all signed and I think the youth were also very happy that they could be apart of the change that is going to happen in the mental health realm of things and to stand up for their rights. They were glad that they could be apart of a nation wide event and that Truro- a small blip on the map would have a say!

I also met some COURAGEOUS youth who were willing to share that they too struggled with a mental illness or battled something very great in their life which changed their whole outlook of things for them. I was inspired to hear these individuals speak so openly about their struggles and what they have done for steps in order to change their lives around. This makes me very happy to know that there are local young people who are willing to be so open despite the stigma that still encompasses youth mental health. These conversations certainly made my heart happy.

Another highlight of the day is that I got a lot of the youth to smile and chuckle when I actually told them what "B.S". stood for. I find that these days, a person needs to be real especially with issues that face youth. To stand up and act professional is a good thing however when dealing with youth- you need to get down to a level where they understand and can relate. So, being real and calling the BullS#!T for what it is.... YOU BET! This is an "in your face" campaign but the youth were all for it. They were totally down with promoting the BullS#!T that they have been told. They agreed that they have problems too and it does not make any difference if they are young or not- they still affect them.

This picture shows one of my favorite youth, Aaron, who is always helpful and wanting to support in any way possible. He was a great help today with handing out buttons and getting youth to come over and see the booth. He was VERY helpful manning the booth beside me which talked about resources in the community for youth experiencing mental health issues. We need more youth like him who are willing to step in and help in any way that they can- even if it means taking a risk and making yourself vulnerable. Its being real- and my young friend is as real as what they come.

All and all- a great morning, great turn out and 100 signatures to add to the count. I am sure that there will be more coming from youth online who were not willing to sign right then and there but will take interest to see what it was all about. Anyone who wants to learn more about "Let's Call B.S." is encouraged to visit their website at callbs.ca and see how they too can change the way youth mental health is viewed. Its time for Canada to get on the wave because change is happening! Get Ready!!!


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