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CSC Winnipeg, MN Design Lab, October 2019


    The mindyourmind team went to Winnipeg, MB to work with newcomer youth through the Canada Service Corps initiative. The goal of the project was to co-create a mental health resource specific to the needs of the Winnipeg community, as identified by the youth. What made this design lab so special was learning what adjusting to life in Canada looks like not only as a newcomer, but also a refugee. From experiencing their first winter season, handling Canadian money, learning a new language, and so many other cultural differences; it was truly inspiring for our team to spend time with this lovely group of people. These young people have deep strength and resiliency as their stories of adapting to life in Canada are not all easy to hear; however, their gratitude and drive to be the best they can be, is amazing.  


    mindyourmind, staff from the Winnipeg YMCA and 18 youth from Winnipeg: Abdulrhaman, Ahmed, Akram, Alaa (Aloush), Amar, Asmaa, Asraa, Auner, Bara, Dalaa, Jwana, Majd, Maya, Miguel, Mohammed, Nassouh, Osama and Wisam.


    mindyourmind worked with Maraleigh Short, the YMCA Newcomer Youth Wellness Coordinator, to recruit youth who are passionate about mental health and being involved in their community. This group was passionate, energetic and motivated; eager to share their experiences and ideas with us as well as their peers. We used creative activities to brainstorm and took frequent dance and soccer breaks. It was hard to not feel happy with this group!!  Through our time together the youth identified the top issues they face and decided to create a motivational poster series and a newcomer trivia game. When the tools are complete the youth will share them with their community. 


    We recognize that mental health programs are not “one size fits all”. We want to provide youth with the opportunity to create a mental health resource that is specifically suited to the newcomers in the Winnipeg area. The challenges that newcomers face are quite sobering. Most of the youth were from Syria with a few from Central/South America and spoke about the challenges they face such as language barriers as well as cultural barriers. They felt as though they were missing many key pieces of information when they moved to Canada and wanted to make the process easier for future newcomers. The mindyourmind process provides the youth with valuable skills and transferable experiences they can utilize in the future.

    The group decided to create a motivational poster as well as an informative trivia game for newcomers.

    Project Links

    Welcome to Canada game

    Welcome to Canada poster series

    Youth Partners

    We posed the following questions to youth participants on the last day of the Design Studio:

    1. How will this quiz and poster help people?
    2. Favourite thing about Winnipeg?
    3. Favourite food?

    Abdulrhaman, 16

    1.I hope they learn many good things.
    2.My favourite thing about Winnipeg is government.
    3.My favourite food is shawarma.

    Akram – 16

    1.By showing them how good we did through all the hard things we have gone through.
    2.Human rights museum

    Asmaa, 17

    1.I hope they learn many good things.
    2.My favourite thing about Winnipeg is government.
    3.My favourite food is shawarma.

    Asraa, 15

    1.They will feel good.

    Ammar, 17

    1.So they would have an idea how we come through all this.
    2.Summer weather
    3.French fries


    1.Learn English
    3.Mulukhiah, syrian food

    DALLAA, 16

    1.We advise them and let them to reach their dreams
    2.Respect and studying (school)
    3.Pizza (cheese), hamburger and chicken burger.


    1.We support them and give them hope.
    2.Freedom and schools
    3.Mulukhiah, syrian food


    1.Learn English
    3.Mulukhiah, syrian food


    1.Don’t lose your hope and don’t retreat from your dreams.
    2.Humanity and peace
    3.French fries, vegetarian

    Mohammad, 16

    1.Safety and comfortable


    1.Learn english


    1.Yes I think it will because there are a lot of options to do or talk about.
    2.The people and my soccer team.
    3.Tacos and chicken


    1.Learn different languages. Learn different things about Canada.
    2.My favourite thing is summer because I can play soccer.