Toronto, the cultural mosaic, provides for a rich and diverse community life. A significant proportion of Toronto’s residents are immigrants, with 12% identifying as South Asian, 11% as Chinese and 9% as African Caribbean (City of Toronto, 2013). For some this is an environment which provides everything needed to thrive, but sadly a significant number are excluded and overlooked from these resources.
The Northwest Toronto Service Collaborative is a group of service providers and community memberswho are finding ways to improve services for children, youth and families with mental health and addictions needs in North York and City of York.
“The meaningful engagement of individuals with lived experience changes everything. True or false?”
That is the question that was asked of four members of the Northwest Toronto Service Collaborative’s Youth Advisory Group.
These young people have been offering their input into a systems change initiative in North York and City of York called Peer Positive. This initiative is working to support community service providers to engage ‘peers’ as equal partners in the design, delivery, and review of services.
By Jeff Wright, Program Manager for Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival, and Media Arts Manger at Workman Arts. He also programs for Canadian Music Week, Calgary Underground Film Festival, and CUFF.Docs.
This week, the staff of Workman Arts sets up temporary shop at TIFF Bell Lightbox for its annual film festival, Rendezvous with Madness. RWM has been exploring and encouraging dialogue about mental illness and addiction through the medium of film for 22 years, and we just announced that our opening night screening of Rocks in My Pockets (the first ever feature-length animated film about mental illness) has sold out.
By Lori Spadorcia, Vice President, Communications and Partnerships at CAMH
When the news came across the twitterverse, I was in an Executive Leadership Team meeting. It seemed unreal for Canada but soon after the emails started to file in one by one – subject line: “I’m ok, in lockdown but safe”. Several of my former colleagues and friends were keeping in touch – no doubt also hoping to receive information from the outside to understand the situation around them. I worked on Parliament Hill for a decade – it was an absolute privilege and it still feels like a home to me. In fact, I remember being in those exact hallways during another horrific event – 9/11.
Ironically, I was to attend an event that afternoon with the Prime Minister and Malala Yousafzai on her first visit to Canada – Malala herself a symbol of the global fight against terrorism.