Hello to all volunteers, families, friends, and community members!

I am Alex the project supervisor for this exchange and I am excited to be working with you in some way or another in the coming months! The youth volunteers will be in Kingston from October 20 - December 21, 2014

We have a few events coming up in the community!
Nov 22 - Find us at various grocery stores in Kingston to donate to HIV/AIDS Regional Services
Nov 28 - Gender Safety Audit - Join us to survey a couple areas of Kingston and make recommendations on how we can better prevent gender based violence through environmental improvements

Dec 7 - Vietnam Day - Join us to celebrate our exchange, hear stories about what we have been up to, taste some Vietnamese cuisine and enjoy performances by the group members


Please contact me at aoneill@cwy-jcm.org
Info about Canada World Youth can be found at http://canadaworldyouth.org/

Wednesday 16 July 2014

Mental Health First Aid

Heya folks

Just wanted to post a quick update to let you know what I am up to today and tomorrow!
So I am currently getting trained in mental health first aid for adults who interact with youth (in Cornwall) with my colleague David (cwycornwallvietnam.blogspot.ca) to be better prepared for all aspects of supporting youth through this incredible experience.

We are covering: mental health and illness, substance abuse, self harm, mood disorders, eating disorders, anxiety, and psychosis among other things for safe and supportive responses.

While of course I hope I do not have to use this training I am thankful for the knowledge and training opportunity and would be happy to share resources with community members in Kingston and exchange best practices.

Culture shock, cultural change, environmental change, new peer groups, different expectations and responsibilities (amongst so many things) all influence our mental state. Normalizing mental health problems and being equipped to address them (of all levels of severity) is so important in ensuring healthy and active citizens. Adolescence and youth is an especially a trying time and we need to address these issues head on before they have the chance to become bigger issues. I am by no means a professional, and the key response is ensuring safety and connecting people with the appropriate professional support services, but I am happy to be more aware of signs, symptoms, immediate responses and how to create action plans.


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