I wanted to let you know of the exciting work that has emerged due, in part, to the opportunity provided to me to learn Art of Hosting methodologies in Toronto last Autumn. Yesterday, I got back from Ottawa where my colleagues and I launched a community of practice that will learn and support one another to deepen our practice of youth engagement so we can radically shift the way mental health services are delivered in Ontario.
A government agency in Ontario has a mandate to deliver Youth Engagement training for free to any mental health agency who genuinely requests it. I’ve been working to develop training materials and agenda outlines using the Art of Hosting methodologies. Youth Engagement is Participatory Leadership and when I realised this I knew I finally had the tools I could use to till the field and allow seeds of good youth work to root.
Wanting to be more than workshop facilitators or hosts, the community of mental health professionals and youth that we brought together this week identified that the way forward is to deeply enter into relationships with one another as a community of practice. We identified the frustration and pain the current mental health system is experiencing with the youth they are trying to serve. When we support one another, we can spark the change within others.
Tim Merry and Phyllis Novak came into this work this week to help us deepen our practice and create a clear vision forward. That was truly a gift.
This is very transformative and wonderful. I wanted to share this news with you so that you might share this with others.