This past year has been all about growth, traction, and diversity. These are buzzwords in today’s world, but we have the proof that our young leaders are making a difference and taking the discussion on mental health higher and further than ever before.
This year marked significant new reach for all of our programs. We supported 18 Regional Summits in addition to our marquee event - National Jack Summit. These Regional Summits demonstrate our ability to connect with and support the activities of youth in all parts of Canada. Our Jack Chapter program continues to make a major impact, now with over 165 Jack Chapters across the country in every province and territory. Our Jack Talks grew substantially, with 265 Jack Talks conducted by 95 trained and certified Jack Talks speakers.
We have learned through our evaluation that we are reaching our intended demographic, which is wonderfully diverse. As well, we're learning much more about how to work with and engage this important audience. For example, among Jack Chapter members, 22% identify as members of a visible minority group, 18% as LGBTQ2S+, 7% as living with a disability, and 4% as Indigenous. In total, Jack Talks, Jack Chapters, and Jack Summits reached over 125,000 youth this year, which is incredible traction. We’re once again planning on significant growth in 2018/2019.
The increasing impact made through our programs wouldn't be possible without the amazing support of our funding partners. New corporations, foundations, individual donors, and fundraisers continue to come forward, recognizing our presence and our ability to reach young people and generate peer-to-peer activities in mental health. I constantly hear from our funders how impressed they are with our approach, our young leaders, and our staff. But in addition, they are impressed with how hard we work to ensure the use of an evidence-based approach; how we continually refine our programs and ensure we are offering effective and relevant support to young people. An example of this is our emerging focus on systems-change advocacy work, our advocacy training toolkit, and the campus assessment resource that our youth leaders have helped develop and will be piloting this coming year.
It is exciting to be seen both as a leader in the youth mental health field and also to be further recognized for our ability to evaluate our findings and focus on impact. The continuous improvement and evolution of our programs is at the heart of who we are and it has been a huge part of our programmatic and funding success.
I can’t finish this letter without acknowledging how proud we are of our staff who are working hard to make all this magic happen. Eric and his dream team continue to find new ways to keep the energy high on the team and within our network across the country. We have added some muscle to our already-strong board with the addition of Julia Deans to support our team as we become a larger national presence.
On behalf of Jack.org, thank you for your support. We hope you enjoy our annual report and are proud of the progress you've helped create!
Gillian Evans, Chair of the Board for Jack.org.
This year we saw so many Jack.org young leaders achieve their aspirations, whether that was giving their first Jack Talk, becoming a Network Rep, or having the confidence to share their story for the first time. These achievements make me so proud and excited to see how Jack.org will continue to evolve and grow in the future.
Our mission is taking root and the tide is turning in our favour. We have the passion, we have the results, and we have taken action to make change. And we will continue to do so. I am incredibly hopeful when I think about the future of Jack.org. We know first-hand that our programs are changing the lives of so many young people, and this means we're making meaningful and important change across Canada. I'm one of those young people. Jack.org has changed my life and on behalf of the entire Jack.org network, we will continue onwards and upwards from here.
Dan Nixon, Network Representative for Jack.org. Vancouver, BC.
1. Increase youth capacity for mental health leadership and advocacy.
2. Connect a national network.
3. Reduce youth-identified barriers to help-seeking.
Last year, we aimed to have 75 trained Jack Talks Speakers deliver 250 Jack Talks. By year’s end, we had 95 trained Jack Talks Speakers deliver 265 Jack Talks to over 53,000 of their peers.
"I still believe Jack Talks training is the best possible experience for a young person, both in regards to career/skill development, as well as confidence and emotional strength."
- Jack Talks Speaker
In 2018, we aimed to have 150 Jack Chapters stage initiatives across Canada. By year’s end, 165 Jack Chapters educated over 113,000 young people across the country.
"The efforts of our Chapter have resulted in strengthened mental health support on campus, adding an element of ‘we’re here for each other’ into everyday interactions."
- Jack Chapter Lead
"We’re getting people to think about mental health differently. We helped shine a light on how stress and burnout are commonly perceived as weakness within the science faculty."
"We are a network of young leaders eradicating stigma and starting a mental health conversation that will only continue to grow in reach and volume."
We aimed to hold 18 Regional Summits. Right on target, we held 18 Regional Summits, plus our 6th annual National Jack Summit.
"It was absolutely incredible. I've never been so inspired. Being in a room with 200+ like-minded individuals who share a passion for mental health advocacy was so humbling and so eye-opening."
- Jack Summit Delegate
98% of delegates were inspired by the content of National Jack Summit 2018.
95% of delegates said they will use what they learned to make mental health change in their communities.
Though we have a long way to go, our network more accurately represents Canadian diversity than ever before. 22% of Chapter members identify as members of a visible minority group, 18% as members of LGBTQ2S+ community, 7% as living with a disability, and 4% as members of Indigenous communities.
The Rebels with a Cause video opened National Jack Summit 2018.
"I want the world to be a space where people can be their 100% true self without feeling judged. I want to make songs about anxiety. I think that in itself...that's a rebellion."Book a speaker like Calvin
Our Jack Talks and Jack Chapters training are now available in French, our brand new website is fully bilingual, and we’ve hired three bilingual staff at Jack.org HQ.Visit our French website
Elle est dévouée à taire les tabous et changer l’image de la santé mentale pour que celle-ci soit comprise, acceptée et qu’on puisse en parler ouvertement sans jugement.Recevoir un conférencier
See Jack.org young leaders on national television
In October 2017, Margaret Wente published an op-ed in the Globe and Mail titled "Why treat university students like fragile flowers?" Charlotte Johnston, Jack Talks speaker, wrote a reply that outlined why young people are, in fact, change-makers and trailblazers and why taking care of their mental health in no way equates to 'fragile flowers.' It was so articulate and powerful that it was picked up by the Huffington Post and several other news outlets.Read Charlotte's article
Prince William sent a personal welcome message to National Jack Summit delegates.
And the country listened. During Mental Health Awareness Week, we received responses from politicians Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Wab Kinew, Tara Jijian, and many more - all interested in how to work with Jack.org to ensure young leaders are part of the conversations around improving youth mental health in Canada.
In 2018, our social media following grew by 83%. For context, the yearly industry average is 22%.
We announced our most ambitious project yet! Be There will be a revolutionary digital tool for teaching young people how to support those who might be struggling.
Cassie and Jean's Be There Story
Foundations and the provincial government stepped up to fund the project to the tune of $400,000. Plus, our community came together to raise over $127,000 for the platform. So we got to work!
We hired a Be There Project Manager and a cutting-edge digital agency to bring the platform to life.
We surveyed 1,200 young people and conducted workshops with our Network Reps to determine what content Be There needs to cover.
We conducted focus groups and interviews with young people to flesh out the concept for the platform.
We’re now building and testing prototypes, with a planned launch date of May 2019 for Be There.
The Government of Canada donated $50,000 to Jack.org (as one of two charities) to celebrate the birth of Prince Louis of Cambridge.
Co-founders Eric Windeler and Sandra Hanington were awarded the prestigious Meritorious Service Cross (Civil Division) from the Office of the Governor General.
Eric (who also serves as Jack.org’s Executive Director) was named one of the 150 CAMH Difference Makers for mental health in Canada, and was the recipient of the 2017 Queen’s University Alumni Humanitarian of the Year Award.
Jack.org took a leadership role on the world stage, with our young leaders and staff presenting at the International Association for Youth Mental Health in Dublin and sitting on the steering committee for the Global Coalition for Youth Mental Health.
It went so well, we even did it again in November of 2018.Get notifications about Everesting 2019
Our Jack Summit program is evolving to better engage young people all over Canada. This year, we'll engage over 2,330 young leaders through Jack Summits. On top of our National Jack Summit, we’re adding Jack Summits in Manitoba, British Columbia, the Territories, and a 100% francophone Jack Summit in Quebec. Plus, we’ll grow from 18 to 25 Regional Summits across Canada.
As conversations around mental health start to become more normalized in some (but not all) communities, our young leaders want to do more. It’s time to look to advocacy as Jack.org’s next bold move. How do we leverage the scale of our network for systems change? How do we ensure young people have the ear of policy makers and influence change to support the betterment of mental health services? How do we make sure youth mental health is a local, provincial, and federal priority? We’re already working on it. And you can be sure we’re working hard to support our network with responsible and effective advocacy training and to elevate their voices to create needed change.
As our programs have expanded, so have our staff. Over the next year, we’ll be making thoughtful hires to keep pace with our momentum. This great group is about to get greater as we grow from 24 to 32 staff.