Embracing the Colours of Toronto

On March 28th Access Alliance Youth Cultural Explosion took place, the event was focused on the youth to represent and explore different cultures and the power they have to strengthen local communities to forge a sense of identity and belonging by promoting social development in the form of urban arts. The event included the celebration of the youth volunteers who have contributed their time and effort with the organization. The collaboration of the youth from different backgrounds leading to the showcase allowed the afternoon to present a crossroad of cultures, that serve as a positive agent in promoting peace and intercultural understanding. Continue reading Embracing the Colours of Toronto

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Mentorship breaking through in the digital age

On February 12th, AccessPoint on Danforth launched its first meet and greet between youth and  mentors as part of the Youth Departments Mentorship Program. This event welcomed 10 mentors from various careers including accounting, law, art and international relations.  The program was established in response to youth who wanted more information about professions they were interested in. In the initial planning stages an assessment was made of the career interest of the youth and from there targeted recruitment of professionals in those respective fields followed. These professionals were then matched with and introduced to interested youth at the event. Mentors were eager to share their wealth of knowledge and experience with the nearly 20 youth who were present. It was wonderful to have so many youth come to the event and the success of the event was not in just the numbers but in the seedlings of relationships that were planted and will continue to grow. Continue reading Mentorship breaking through in the digital age

Nilam Chhetri, Making Mental Health Matter

ProfileI came to Canada with my family in 1996 with big dreams and aspirations. Four years after we arrived in Canada, my brother committed suicide and shortly afterwards my sister was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. It took me and my family 15 years to overcome grief and start talking about this openly. In 2012 I finally understood that silence makes things much worse for those struggling with mental health, and it affects their families similarly. This is when I created a blog site called Side by Side, initially as a personal blog to share my feeling and thoughts. In less than six months my blog had more than 3000 followers. I found each post received dozens of comments and active discussion. This is when I realized that I was not alone and that my simple blog had the possibility of serving as a much needed platform for support, open conversation, and empowerment. It has now grown into an online magazine whose purpose is to create positive change in the field of mental health. Currently I’m studying to become a Psychotherapist. This is my story as a young immigrant to Canada where I learned to move from deep loss and grief to becoming an active mental health advocate. Continue reading Nilam Chhetri, Making Mental Health Matter

Health with Dignity