Our goal: to promote the normalizing of mental health issues, to eliminate its stigma, to end discrimination, and to provide opportunities for the empowerment, acceptance, and overall wellness of people living with mental health challenges.

Beautiful Minds provides quality educational programs that focus on positive mental health and the reduction of stigma. We work with schools, social agencies, corporations, and community partners to develop, promote, and deliver programming that increases knowledge and promotes positive attitudes towards mental health, thus reducing stigma.
We hope that with the information we provide around the stigma of mental illness, students, teachers, parents, employers and employees, and the general community will have a better understanding of mental health and its related issues. We also hope that people who participate in the program will support others in their community who are experiencing mental health issues.

Overall, the program works to change the way mental illness is viewed by society by changing the negative perceptions that many people have about mental health and mental illness. We want to educate people about the importance of mental health in everyone’s life and let people know that they are not alone.

Beautiful Minds currently works with people in Waterloo Region and Wellington County. We do, however, consider special requests from other areas as resources are available.

Program Objectives:

  • Increase awareness of students, teachers, parents, employers, employees and individuals from the broader community about mental health issues
  • Promote positive attitude change towards mental illness within the community
  • Foster the development of prevention and early identification protocols within the school system and compassion and understanding within the business sector and community at large
  • Strengthen liaisons between boards of education, community agencies, businesses, and mental health resource agencies
  • Dissemination of clear information on community resources to
  • Decrease stigma associated with mental health, promoting acceptance and inclusion across the community.
  • Offer opportunities for people with mental health concerns to share their stories and experiences as a means of educating and supporting others
  • Empower community members to address mental health concerns and seek support for themselves and others.
  • Increase the confidence of teachers in educating youth about mental health and in coping with adolescent mental health issues
  • Increase confidence, compassion, and understanding in the community both private and public

Beautiful Minds for Community
Beautiful Minds provides presentations to community members in a variety of domains including hospital settings for staff and patients, corporate settings for employers and employees, and non-profit community groups and agencies.

Mental health education and awareness of stigma is incredibly important!

By the time Canadians reach the age of 40, 50% have – or have had – a mental illness.
In any given week, at least 500,000 employed Canadians are unable to work due to mental health issues. This includes:

  •  approximately 355,000 disability cases due to mental and/or behavioural disorders
  • approximately 175,000 full-time workers absent from work due to mental illness

The economic burden of mental illness in Canada is estimated at $51 billion per year. This includes health care costs, lost productivity, and reductions in health-related quality of life.

Beautiful Minds for Community provides:

  • an increase in general knowledge and awareness of mental health issues and mental illness in those who are in attendance at a Beautiful Minds presentation, as well as a reduction in stigma toward people with mental health issues and mental illness
  • the opportunity to build a culture wherein business owners are more aware of the signs and symptoms of mental illness and how to better support their employees living with mental illness, through understanding, compassion, and sharing of resources
  • an starting point for employees to feel more comfortable reaching out to their employers for support, rather than hiding or masking
  • speakers with lived experience sharing their stories of hope and recovery that contribute to a more open and educated community

Our Beautiful Minds for Community Presentations are customized based on the requirements of the business or agency that invites us to present. The presentation, depending on the length, may or may not include our education slideshow, but will focus mainly on volunteer speakers sharing their lived experiences, with the opportunity for Q&A. The logistics of each presentation will be determined by each individual request.

To request a presentation, please see our Presentation Calendar, and our Request Presentation form. If you have additional questions, please contact Program Coordinator, Marcey Gray, at mgray@cmhaww.ca

Beautiful Minds for Education
The secondary school element of Beautiful Minds has four components for teachers to adapt to fit the needs of their classroom. The third component of the Beautiful Minds program consists of a presentation by the Program Coordinator, and a volunteer speaker who has lived experience of mental -health issues and wishes to share their trauma-informed story to help others. Each presentation is 60-75 minutes depending on the length of the class period, and includes a Q&A session.

This education program is designed to help teachers meet the requirements of the Ontario Ministry of Education and Training’s Curriculum Guidelines both formally in health and physical education, social science and humanities classes and informally in English, math, science and art classes. A complete educational resource manual is provided to teachers with all the information and materials to deliver the program as well as plenty of additional information including how to support students with mental health issues.

Presentations are available for classes as few as ten students, and require access to a computer with USB drive, a projector, and speakers. It is also required that a mental health worker from the school be present during the presentation in order to support students during and after the presentation as needed.

To request a presentation, please see our Presentation Calendar, and our Request Presentation form. If you have additional questions, please contact Program Coordinator, Marcey Gray, at mgray@cmhaww.ca