WHAT’S THE PROBLEM ?
In Canada alone, over 4157 suicides happen each year. It is the 9th leading cause of death.
Each year 1 out of 5 adults are affected by depression and anxiety, in both men and women.
And in Newfoundland and Labrador, after a referral is made by a family physician, it can take years for folks to receive publicly-funded psychological care.
SOLVING THE PROBLEM .
It’s Mental’s purpose is to fund knowledge in Newfoundland and Labrador, by creating more mental health first aid trainers/facilitators in our province.
We want people to have basic knowledge to provide mental health support to everyone, everywhere, across our province to help ease the strain on the mental healthcare system we’re currently living with.
WATCH THE VIDEO THAT STARTED IT ALL .
Amelia was tired of the stigma. It’s as simple as that. Lived and shared experiences with many, from her artist community to those in government and everyone in between led her to the moment that would alter her path for ever and take her from a singer and songwriter to national advocate.
With a growing list of believers, Amelia and Roger Maunder partnered on a project where simple, but almost unseen or heard messages and statements around mental health were shown in a video that went on to become a viral sensation. Thoughts of shares and views quickly catapulted Amelia and her story into national headlines.
IT’S MENTAL WAS BORN .
Don-E Coady (Dc), an artist, business owner, and celebrated volunteer – who was asked to appear in the video – saw the overwhelm this remarkable initiative was creating and offered to co-found an organization that would help organize and formalize her intentions around advancing support, awareness and education around the subject of mental health – at a time so early in the discussion that Bell had yet to start now famous campaigns of their own.
It’s Mental – whose name triggers shock, reaction and memorability from all who see it for the first time – began.
A DOCUMENTARY ON MENTAL HEALTH FROM AMELIA’S LENS .
A CBC documentary by Amelia and Roger was soon created that highlighted mental health stigmas and the need to raise awareness and understanding. The feature was personal, vulnerable, and encouraged funding and allocation of resources for mental health care in Newfoundland and Labrador. Watch the documentary here.
OUR T-SHIRT CAMPAIGN .
We had an idea to take all the attention we were getting and create a tangible expression of unity. “We’ll take our logo and put it on a shirt.” Yeah – that’s a good idea. We never really discussed price for selling them, nor did we think through how we’d pay for the production. It was supposed to be a humble little thing to get attention.
Then it happened. Amelia mentioned it to her camp, and late one night, a post hit her Twitter, proclaiming free shirts for anyone who wrote requesting one.
Oops. Over two thousand orders came in across the country overnight.
The rest was a blur. Our small crew held fundraisers and called in favours to pay for the massive production of shirts. Then we spent the next months sizing, packaging, and stuffing thank you letters into thousands of envelopes we dragged to the post office for bulk send after bulk send.
And what happened next? Photos and thank you letters and shows of unity across the country on our feeds and in our inboxes. Then famous artists started posting selfies in the shirts. More funds came in.
It’s been a minute since that powerful campaign blew us away in every way.
What did we learn? We learned the importance of community and how when you ask for help, incredible things happen. The same can be said for your own mental health. Know you are not alone. People in our community care about you and they care about our cause – because it’s theirs too.
EVENTS, FUNDRAISERS AND INITIATIVES .
From radio shows and workplace presentations to panels and events, we’ve been so fortunate to have partnered with so many organizations and artists.
Most notably our two-time Motown for It’s Mental, which featured all-star casts of musicians and performers who lent their talents to help our organization raise funds and exposure, brought out so much support and celebration.
Recently, we partnered with MusicNL for a campaign that saw contact information for mental health warm-lines and community resources distributed via postcards and table tents all over the downtown, during the cold winter months, where artists could access the information, as it’s during these months when mental health and addictions are at their peak.