What?

Design Labs were created by the mindyourmind team, supported by the Canada Service Corps Initiative. They are sessions where the participants receive support and resources to co-create mental health projects to fill the needs they have identified in their communities. In the midst of the current pandemic, we feel privileged that we were able to switch to an online space and that we continued to feel the passion of our participants! We could not have been more pleased with the experience and outcomes! While discussing the mental health needs in our communities, we came up with different ideas for projects and we organically broke down into three teams, with each team leading a project. Our three projects are: a Discord community forum, a podcast, and mental health toolkits!

It was amazing to see that even though some of us did not live in the same province, we were able to meet in this virtual space on Zoom and truly connect with everyone. Our sessions were broken down into two main types of activities: the activities we did as a group with all of the participants, and the project planning for which we were in breakout rooms. Despite meeting in this virtual space as strangers and having to deal with the current state of the world and our own lives, it didn’t take long to create a warm and fun vibe with everyone! Our participants were welcoming, motivated and compassionate. The teams were very supportive, helped each other straight off the bat and were each other's biggest supporters - which made the whole Design Lab group feeling even more empowered, valued and feeling like their project will truly make a difference. 

Why?

Young people continue to fight to have their voices heard and some are in the search to make an impact in their communities. During the pandemic, we have seen an increase in mental health challenges, especially amongst youth. In a time of self-isolation and unpredictable changes, there is a true need for a safe online space where we can connect. More than maintaining a vital sense of belonging to a wonderful community, the Design Labs put in place by mindyourmind are full of amazing resources both for their participants’ own wellbeing and for them to promote mental health conversations amongst their communities.

Who?

The mindyourmind staff and eleven awesome youth from across Canada.

They were recruited through a call-out on our socials and have created a wonderful, open, welcoming and diverse community we are so proud of!

When?

Summer 2021. We met for 2 or 4 hours per week, for 6 weeks. 

Where?

Virtually across Canada. Even though we met online, we would like to acknowledge that most of us currently live on unceded Indigenous lands. If you would like to learn more about the lands you live on, we highly recommend the interactive map and the other amazing resources from Native Land.

Youth Partners

This group decided on three questions:

  1. What was your favourite part of this design lab?
  2. What is next for your project?
  3. How would you describe your perfect day?

Here's their answers...