At the Atlantic Summer Institute, this year, we will continue our work in learning and shaping the future agenda of the mental health system in Atlantic Canada during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. More specifically, the Youth Leadership Program, which is a priority of the Atlantic Summer Institute on Healthy and Safe Communities (ASI), will provide a space for youth to come together virtually and have a voice in shaping the future agenda for children and youth in Atlantic Canada. ASI has learned from previous events how important it is to foster intergenerational learning; therefore, there will be time for youth to both participate in the full ASI 2021 program and convene separately to develop long-lasting connections.
ASI 2021 will be an Atlantic Policy Forum on infant, child and youth mental health promotion, with the theme: The Great Reconnect: Building Personal, Community and Societal Resilience for our Post COVID-19 World.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed our collective vulnerability to the impact of isolation and our struggles to preserve our mental health. It has also highlighted the importance of considering mental health when instituting various policies that protect physical health. Society needs to have ongoing policies and programs that support positive relationships, social networks, education, adequate income, inclusion, and housing – from infancy to youth to older generations. This is why we need to continue working on upstream interventions that promote mental health and accessible services.”
– Patsy Beattie-Huggan (ASI Coordinator)
Who is eligible to apply?
ASI 2021 will support at least five youth from each Atlantic province to participate in this year’s online forum. Young people between the ages of 18 and 25 who are affiliated with a community group and have experience/interest in being an advocate or leader are encouraged to apply. Exceptions to the age limit may be made for young people who fit all other criteria. Youth organizations are encouraged to provide mentorship and support to nominated youth from the application through to conference participation to foster their successful engagement in the policy experience.
DEADLINE: Applicants must complete the online application available until July 15, 2021.
- To provide an opportunity for youth participants to hear and respond to current evidence on the links between child and youth mental health and their social, cultural and physical environments;
- To enhance our understanding of the structural and contextual conditions that support resilience in infant, child, and youth mental health;
- To develop knowledge and skills that can be applied to building resilience in ourselves, our communities, and society;
- To develop ongoing channels/networks for youth engagement and to invest upstream in child and youth mental health; and
- To encourage collaboration amongst all age groups throughout the program and after ASI 2021.
The program will extend over 3 days (August 23-25), beginning with an online youth leadership workshop the morning of August 23. Following the workshop, youth delegates will join other registrants for the ASI 2021 Opening and keynote presentation and for the full ASI program, August 24 and 25. To create space for youth voices, round tables discussions and learning circles will provide opportunities to learn together, build networks and celebrate innovative ideas for upstream investment in mental health promotion. As this is an online event again this year, we will continue to learn how best to collaborate online and make space for open dialogue.
Invitations will be extended through our partner organizations. The ASI Youth Leadership Coordinator, Chantal Peng, will liaise with organizations and provide planning and oversight to the Youth Leadership Program. The program is being planned with input from youth leaders who attended past programs.
For more information, contact:
ASI Youth Leadership Coordinator
ASI office: 902-894-3399