Creating cultural connections with newcomer youth

The Youth and Caregiver Resource Group was created to support the Youth Services Bureau (YSB) of Ottawa in its role as lead agency for the Ottawa service area. The group consists of youth, caregivers and adult allies, and it focuses on strengthening and further advancing youth and caregiver engagement and client-centred care principles and practices in the child and youth mental health system in Ottawa.

In the fall of 2015, the group identified a need for mental health resources for diverse ethnocultural communities. They recruited several more youth from various ethnocultural groups in Ottawa and enlisted the support of mindyourmind, a mental health program in London, Ontario. mindyourmind uses active engagement, best practices and technology to engage youth, emerging adults and the professionals who serve them to co-develop reliable and relevant resources.

In February 2016, mindyourmind facilitated an intensive two-day design and creation weekend with the Ottawa youth. Using a design studio methodology, the youth and mindyourmind co-created two different resources:

  • a zine filled with inspirational quotes, beautiful art and helpful resources intended to empower youth to seek help, and
  • a video for parents highlighting that it's ok to ask for help if they or their kids are experiencing a mental health problem. 

To check out the video – available in six different languages – go to: