Celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month



May is Mental Health awareness month across Canada, with the purpose of raising awareness for a topic that is often stigmatized or not fully discussed in many settings. There are several opportunities at Big Brothers Big Sisters to promote positive mental health within others, while simultaneously bettering your own mental health. At the organizational level, the positive effect of mentorship on mental health has been widely established both for mentors and mentees. Mentees and mentors are encouraged to engage in social conversation, explore nature, and teach each other, resulting in less stress. As a mentor, it is also fulfilling to know there is a positive impact being made on a mentee, which also contributes to positive mental health.

Amrit Thandi, NYMAC Member

Amrit Thandi, NYMAC Member

In the GoGirls! Program at Big Brothers Big Sisters, there is an explicit focus on mental health through certain modules that are presented to mentees. Topics include the meaning of mental health and self-care. These sessions result in rich conversations during which mentees share their personal strategies for self-care and other mentees can learn and try new things. As a mentor in this program, I have noted that many mentees have expressed the positive impact the program has had on their wellbeing. Young mentees express feelings of empowerment. Mentees also feel participating in Go Girls! equips them with the skills needed to take care of themselves.

Beyond Big Brothers Big Sisters, there are several ways to engage in self-care and pay heed to your mental health. This begins by acknowledging that mental health is just as important as physical health, which includes making the time and space to take care of both, and knowing it is okay to ask for help. Based on what mentees have shared during GoGirls! Programming, it may be beneficial to do activities such as meditation, painting, listening to podcasts, reading, sports or physical activity in general. Overall, there are several ways of take care of your mental health, whether that’s through mentorship, relaxing, or doing activities that you enjoy.

Join us at Big Brothers Big Sisters and become a mentor during Mental Health Awareness Month! Help promote positive mental health in others while improving your own. With engaging programs like GoGirls! focusing on mental health modules, you can make a difference by sharing experiences, learning new strategies, and empowering mentees. Together, let’s break the stigma and prioritize mental wellness. Join us today and be a part of something meaningful!