On May 26, South Delta Secondary Grade 8 and 9 students had the opportunity to participate in the Balancing Our Minds Youth Summit. The conference was aimed at destigmatizing conversations about mental health, self-care and providing access to valuable resources.
“We were excited to welcome speakers such as NHL player Tyler Motte, Author and Personal Development Coach Adrian Starks, Certified Integrative Life and Business Coach Michelle Falcone and Canucks DJ Barron S,” said Terri Farnden, vice principal at South Delta Secondary and organizer of the Balancing Our Minds Youth Summit. “The speakers shared their experiences with mental health challenges as well as their ways of coping. I am also really proud of the SDSS Delta Youth Advisory Council (DYAC) – they played a pivotal role in helping to plan the event.”
Teachers were invited to log into the sessions with their class. Nearly 500 students attended the online conference. Originally, the conference was due to be held in 2020 with around 200 students attending in person. The switch to an online format this year enabled the school to include more students, including students who are learning from home this year.
“The feedback from students has been good,” said Terri. “Some students were able to identify with the feelings of the speakers, especially with the five courageous youth who participated in the youth panel and shared their experiences. Other students reached out to speak to their counsellor as a result. Overall, I think students left the event knowing that it is ok to talk about mental health, which is exactly what we were hoping for.”