Empowerment Against Mental Illness

The Cause

This project is to co-produce (co-developed by people with lived experience of mental illness and Prosper Place staff) and co-facilitate (co-delivered through workshops, focus groups and seminars) two educational courses at Prosper Place. The focus of these courses will be:

Everyday Confidence
Leadership Skills.

These two courses will be targeted towards youth (18 - 25 years of age) living with the effects of mental illness and offered at no cost to participants.

Over 60% of people living with mental illness do not reach out for help or support. Even if a child has been supported during their early years, the transition to adulthood is difficult because the supports that they are familiar with are then no longer available to them once they turn 18 years of age. If new supports are not found, their mental illness too often spirals downward again resulting in future hospitalization, isolation and low quality of life. The two courses noted above will not only provide skills and education on how to utilize tools to overcome their anxiety and depression, but also provide socialization in a safe non-judgmental environment. The youth will also learn specific skills that are transferable to employment, stigma reduction and community integration.

The first phase will be the co-production of the course curriculum. There will be focus groups conducted to research to enhance content.

Everyday Confidence will include topics/content such as:
- feeling comfortable during introductions (example: shaking hands)
- being able to look someone in the eye during conversations
- positive affirmations
- building courage
- increasing self-esteem
- first impressions
- inspiring others
- embracing yourself (fighting negative self-talk)
- identify your achievements
- be prepared
- accepting failure
- gratitude

Leadership Skills will include topics/content such as:
- non positional leadership model
- creating agendas and meeting minutes
- comfortable to speak up and be appropriate during a meeting
- generating innovative ideas
- engaging in productive self-reflection
- goal setting
- negotiation
- building consensus
- professional mannerisms
- communications (verbal, written, ice-breakers, open-ended questions)
- public speaking
- conflict management
- advocacy for mental health
- how isolation and lengthy device (online) use affects physical health and brain drain

The underlying teachings from these courses will create a sense of belonging, purpose and renewed hope!

Who Will it Benefit?

The courses will not only benefit the youth participants, but it will also benefit their families and care-givers.

As a ripple effect the benefits of the courses will help to teach self-care management for mental illness, which will help to keep people out of hospital and reduce the costs and impact on our current emergency services.

Furthermore, increased education helps to reduce stigma surrounding mental illness and promotes advocacy for mental health.

The benefits affect our entire community!