The Power of the Personal Story
This MHED was all about the personal story and featured This Is My Brave, a not for profit organization in the US where people tell their mental health stories on stage shows in cities across the US. This Is My Brave has caught the attention of everyone from Oprah, to the Washington Post, to the Today Show and we were lucky enough to have Jenn Marshall join us in conversation virtually from her home in Virginia. We then had three of our own local community members tell their stories involving three areas that impacted us most during the pandemic – anxiety, disordered eating, and addiction.
Dr. Jean Twenge, PhD American psychologist and researcherIn our first COVID MHED, we pivoted on-line and had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Twenge, a world-renowned authority on generational differences, about her current book: iGen – Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy & Completely Unprepared for Adulthood. Dr. Twenge joined us virtually from her home in California and fresh off appearances on CNN and other major news networks as she spoke to audiences about the effect of Covid on teens.
Beth Tzedec Congregation, Toronto
What I Wish You Knew
This year’s theme was all about knowledge and educating our 400+ audience on what it is like to live with mental health issues. Donna Green, Ori Goldstein, Ari Zaretsky and our own Leanne Matlow came together as a panel to answer questions on treatment, addiction, outreach and more. Peter Akman of W5 and CTV news moderated the panel.
We brought Ryan Golt back to give us an update on how things were going in his life and we invited Jacqueline Viner, a 20-year old University of Toronto Classics major who is also a poet, and songwriter, who lives life with bipolar disorder.
Beth Tzedec Congregation, Toronto
Cognitive Therapy for Adolescents in School Settings
Dr. Creed took an audience of 400+, largely made up of teachers and parents, through the learnings of cognitive behavioural therapy. It was the first time that anyone from the Beck Institute travelled outside the US to speak to an audience.
Our lived experience speaker was Eli Brown, a young man who has founded Shine The Light On – a company that makes clothing and items geared toward combating shame and stigma associated with mental health issues. Eli is someone who lives with depression and anxiety and began Shine The Light On as a direct result of his experiences.
Chat Hebrew Academy of Toronto
When we gathered 200+ people for our inaugural event in 2017, it was with the intention of bringing together community, to educate about mental health, and to eradicate stigma. We have held true to that premise ever since.
Our first event featured Dr. Ari Zaretsky who lectured on mental health, depression and anxiety; identifying symptoms and proper treatment plans. We also heard from Dr. Mark Sinyor who told us about his three-month curriculum to help students improve their mental health literacy through the book Harry Potter and the Prisoner Of Azkaban as it deals with issues including bullying and depression. Using it to help students develop resiliency and coping skills, we are proud that the program was included in the curriculum of over 60 schools following MHED.
Our lived experience speaker was Ryan Golt, a student at Concordia University in Montreal who began to experience crippling anxiety and founded wellMTL while at Concordia; a service aimed at helping people overcome social and financial barriers of taking care of their mental health. Ryan most recently completed a one year Masters in Public Health at Harvard where he was also involved in a program called Ignite Mental Health.
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