Balancing Our Minds Conference

Balancing Our Minds Conference

May 15, 2015
By
Amrita Gill

On Tuesday, April 28,  Southpointe Academy hosted its inaugural “Mini Balancing Our Minds: Youth Summit 2015” with a focus on Rebranding Mental Health. Over 400 students from independent schools across the Lower Mainland migrated to the Tsawwassen school to participate in the process of rethinking society’s approach to mental health issues.
Following a blessing from Tsawwassen First Nations elder Ruth Adams, these Grade 8-12 students received presentations from a number of professionals, heard personal accounts from student presenters, and participated in a panel discussion of teens articulating the actions they are taking to promote mental health awareness. The day included breakout sessions for teens, where students had the opportunity to share slam poetry. They also had a chance to visit a number resource information booths hosted by mental health support and promotional organizations.
After attending the Balancing Our Minds Summit for the past two years at Rogers Arena, Southpointe Academy students were eager to contribute to a growing conversation about mental health and the issues faced by many of their peers on a daily basis. The summit reflected their amenability to initiate change in South Delta and the Lower Mainland by rebranding the face of mental health, both personally and amongst peers from Southpointe Academy and other ISABC schools. Southpointe Academy Grade Twelve student Aliyya Rashid believes that they are well on their way towards creating a community that is a comfortable place for youth, where tolerance for mental health issues is encouraged.
The Mini Balancing Our Minds: Youth Summit is a direct result of students attending the Balancing Our Minds 2015 Summit, which is organized by BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services in partnership with the Vancouver Canucks and Mental Health Commissions of Canada.