Hey, it’s me again. I’m here today to share with you a really neat opportunity/network/organization called Jack.org.

Jack.org is Canada’s only youth-led mental health charity organization working to revolutionize the mental health landscape. They do this through their extensive network of young advocates across the country, original resources such as “BeThere” and “Do Something”, local chapters across the country, the Jack Talk presentations program, regional summits (like the Northern summit), and of course, the annual National Jack Summit in Toronto.

I first got involved with Jack.org in fall of 2018, when Hana (former BYTE gem – miss you friend), sent me an invitation to apply for the first ever Northern regional summit in Yellowknife, NWT. Since then, I have also attended the National Jack Summit, received training to become a Jack Talks speaker, and am one of the co-leads on the Yukon Jack Chapter.

The Northern Summit 2019 occurred on November 2nd, again in Yellowknife, NWT. 50 young advocates from across the North gathered to share ideas, struggles, and find solutions to the barriers that we face when accessing mental health services in the North. After giving suggestions to the Jack.org team about opening the summit to people from other northern communities, outside of the three Territories, I was pleasantly surprised to see participants also from places such as Corner Brook, NL and Prince George, BC.

Throughout the day we had an opportunity to collaborate with other delegates and share about issues that affect our communities, sit in on workshops about the BeThere online resource or “Social Media and Mental Health”, listen to two amazing keynote speakers, traditional tattooist Hovak Johnston and actor Paul Nutarariak from The Grizzlies, and participate in a traditional drumming or beading workshop. 

A great part about Northern Summit is that the delegates that attend get a chance to realize how similar the issues we face in our communities are – youth from fly-in communities in Nunavut shared some of the same issues as youth from Prince George. Delegates had the opportunity to share knowledge and find solutions to some issues, brainstorm awareness activities to bring back to their community, and tools to become better mental health advocates.

While the Northern Summit has already passed, there is another AMAZING Jack.org opportunity for youth ages 18-25 to take advantage of! The National Jack Summit 2020 will be occurring from March 21-23 in Toronto, ON. During this 3-day summit, 250 young leaders will come together for an immersive experience that will surely inspire and motivate you to take action. The summit is packed full of great workshops, collab sessions, and keynotes that will blow your mind. Thanks to Jack.org’s generous sponsors, all costs are covered for the delegates this year, so all you have to do is APPLY. The deadline to apply is December 15th at 11:59pm EST

How else can you get involved?

Join the Yukon Jack Chapter! We are just starting out with our chapter and are hoping to grow from three members to many more. Our goal is to use the chapter as a way to organize awareness events and advocate for better mental health services and policies in the North. If you would like to get involved, or get more information about the chapter, please contact Abbey, Paige or Shyloh at: yukonjackchapter@nullgmail.com

Until next time!