Intended use:

  • Educational settings(classroom use, assemblies, school-based conferences)
  • Professional Workshops and Training
  • Group Screenings

Objectives of Film Screening and Workshop/Presentation:

  • to enable viewers to understand real  life scenarios
  • to promote empathy, understanding and compassion
  • to encourage talk about mental health
  • to sensitize viewers to issues and concerns of people with lived experience of mental health
  • to give a voice to youth
  • to provide a national call to action by giving concrete suggestions for best practices
  • to inspire, motivate and encourage youth mental health change and action

Anticipated audience

  • Educational Institutions
  • Healthcare Institutions
  • Youth and Mental Health Advocacy Groups
  • Governmental Institutions
  • Local, provincial, national and international youth and mental health organizations

Educational activities package

A package of materials with a resource list will accompany all video showings. The package will include the following:

1. Pre-Activities

  • to introduce the video
  • to introduce key topics
  • to highlight areas to focus on while viewing the video

2. Post-Viewing Discussion and Reflection

  • Small and large group discussions
  • Review of key points

Distribution strategies

  • Youtube channel and other social media forums
  • Provincial Directors of School Mental Health, Advocates for Children and Youth, Ministers of Health, Children and Youth Services and Education
  • Rendevous With Madness Festival, November 2016
  • Through promotion during Bell Let’s Talk(January), Eating Disorders Week(February), Mental Health Week(May), World Suicide Prevention Day(September 10) and World Mental Health Day(October 10)

Workshop Outline

Youth Voices, Youth Hope:  Embracing Diversity of Needs and Challenges


Description of Workshop/Presentation:

Participants will have the opportunity to focus on youth mental health reality, change, action and hope using evidence-based and international best practices, informed by the voices of youth with lived experience of mental health.

The workshop will feature our national documentary film on youth mental health issues, “Youth Voices, Youth Hope”, to highlight the challenges of mental ill health in the education system and the role of societal systems in creating the change that is required for suicide prevention and hope.

The film involved 150 youth from 3 provinces, as well as many prominent Canadian mental health advocates including Clara Hughes, Mary Walsh, Amelia Curran and Seamus O’Regan.  Music was contributed by the Amabile Children’s Choir in London, Ontario, the internationally renowned composer and conductor, Jim Papoulis from New York City and Shay Esposito, a young artist from Edmonton, Alberta.


Theme:  It Takes a Nation

Youth have made this film, a film rooted in the trauma and struggle of so many youth, to influence that change that is needed and to support youth who too often feel alone, isolated, ignored, judged and dismissed.  The message in our film is that “Youth Matter”.  “Youth Voices, Youth Hope” puts young people at the centre of the conversation on youth mental health reality, barriers in education and healthcare and hope that impacts lives.

Amplifying the voices of youth has the power to inform policymakers, compel public action and ultimately affects the lives of youth.  Our film represents a diversity of perspectives and experiences, backgrounds and identities.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child created the first international mechanism stipulating the systemic engagement of youth voice.  This is a film made by youth, for youth, about youth.

Youth with lived experience of mental health made this film to encourage youth empowerment, inspire positive mental health and well-being and implore society to respond to youth needs and recommendations to our youth mental health crisis in Canada.

Mental health belongs to all of us. Suicide prevention is everyone’s responsibility.


Participatory and Interactive Workshop/Presentation:

After screening the 50 minute youth mental health film, participants will have the opportunity to discuss the following areas in large group format, small groups or through a panel discussion.

  • Implementing international best practices in Canada
  • Implementing youth recommendations and responding to youth needs with school-based solutions
  • Implementing coordinated responses to youth mental health issues, with consideration of episodic and chronic differences.


The film highlights a number of international best practices and personal recommendations from youth and mental health advocates which will help act as a springboard for a bigger discussion on strategic and comprehensive ways to employ coordinated, timely, effective and innovative responses to the range of mental health challenges that youth experience.