Vancouver School Board's Engaged Immigrant Youth Program

2019 Mental Health Awareness Forum for Newcomer Youth

District-Wide Event held at VPL-Central to raise awareness on Mental Health

Youth Changemakers of Engaged Immigrant Youth Program from Killarney and John Oliver Secondary has planned and put together a forum about mental health awareness for newcomer youth on January 28, 2019.

The Youth Changemakers have expressed the reason why it is important to talk about mental health. Some of the students have stated:

"Because [mental health issues] are common among newcomers or even just youth in general but not everyone are open to talk about it."

"There are also a lot of stigma around mental health."

"Even if people are aware that it is present, not everyone knows who to ask for help or where to ask for help."

"To provide a safe place to discuss and express ideas"

"To have a mentally healthier and well-informed youth [about mental health]"

The Youth Changemakers aim to educate newcomer youth about what really is mental health and the importance of knowing the resources that are available in the community if they need to seek support. Furthermore, the Youth Changemakers aim to remove the stigma about the conversation regarding mental health by providing a safe space for youth to engage in aconversation with policy makers and other community partners.

2018 SYNC (Strong Youth Newcomer Changemakers)

ELL Welcome Event at John Oliver Secondary School

A group of newcomer youth leaders (SYNC - Strong Youth Newcomer Changemakers) at John Oliver Secondary School has planned and put together an ELL Welcome Event on November 22, 2017 to welcome and engage all English Language Learner (ELL) youth in school.

Youth leaders explored and identified the following issues or barriers faced by newcomer ELL youth in the school system:

- Disconnection and lack of sense of belonging for newcomer ELL youth

- Unfamiliarity with education system for newcomer ELL youth

- Lack of leadership opportunities and participation for ELL youth leaders

The ELL Welcome Event aims to build connection among ELL youth and to promote their sense of belonging in school and community through stories sharing, introduction of school and community resources, and interactive youth-led teambuilding activities. It also provides an opportunity for youth leaders to showcase their talents and develop their leadership and event planning skills.