jack.org

Young leaders revolutionizing mental health.

mission

Our mission is to train and empower a national network of young leaders to revolutionize mental health and advocate for systems-level change.

vision

A Canada where all young people understand how to take care of their own  mental health and look out for each other — a  Canada without shame, where all those who need support get the help they deserve.

tactics

  1. Serve as an agent for the collective voice of youth.

  2. Level up youth skills and engagement to make systems change.

  3. Lead peer-to-peer mental health education with an ecosystem of resources. 

  4. Strengthen our agility and impact through optimizing collaborative structures and processes.


To make sure we meet our goals, our programs are youth-led, evidence-based, and rigorously evaluated.

talks

Jack Talks are mental health presentations delivered by young people to young people. Trained youth speakers use the power of their personal stories to educate the peers about mental health in a safe and hopeful way. 


Pre Covid-19

  • From July 2019 to March 2020, 173 Speakers delivered 246 in-person Talks to over 27,000 young people.

  • 72% of audience members said they learned something new about mental health.

  • 78% of audience members said they learned where to get help if they need it.

 

Covid-19 pivot

To ensure that mental health education remains a top priority during the pandemic, we developed three Virtual Jack Talks to meet the needs of young people at a time when it’s needed most. 
 

This year, 624 Virtual Talks will reach over 21,000 young people.

chapters

The Jack Chapters program is a network of youth-led groups that work to identify and dismantle barriers to positive mental health in their schools and communities. The Jack Chapters program ensures that young leaders have a consistent presence in their community and to address the issues most relevant to them. 

 

Pre Covid-19

  • From July 2019 to March 2020, 215 active Jack Chapters across every province and territory undertook 657 initiatives that started 62,000mental health conversations with their peers.

 

Covid-19 pivot

  • The first ever Day of Collective Action launched on May 5th 2021. It brought together over 240 youth mental health advocates from 21 Jack Chapters from across the country to launch mental health initiatives in their communities and raise awareness about youth mental health on both a local and national scale.

  • Regional meet-ups brought Chapter members together to connect, share, and collaborate on mental health topics that are important to them.

  • Regular updates from the staff were sent to all Chapters to provide jack.org updates, check-in with members, and share resources to support mental health.

summits

Advocacy is hard work, and each community faces its own distinct challenges to positive mental health. That’s why the Jack Summit program brings mental health advocates together to collaborate, learn from one another, and build the skills they need to elevate their impact on mental health in their community, however they define it. The National Jack Summit brings together outstanding leaders to strategize for change on a national scale, while Regional and Local Summits address region and community-specific challenges to mental health.
 

Pre Covid-19

  • 17 Local Jack Summits, 5 Regional Jack Summits, and 1 National Jack Summit brought together over 1,450 delegates from every province and territory.

  • 81% of National Summit delegates reported they gained knowledge in mental health systems change.

  • 94% of National Summit delegates said they felt connected to a national movement.

Covid-19 Pivot
 

  • This year, the second virtual National Jack Summit, Undivided, brought together 150 mental health advocates from across the country to collaborate, level-up their advocacy work, and strategize for change.

our story

In 2010, at age 18, Jack Windeler died by suicide while in his first year of university. This tragedy completely shocked his family and friends who had no idea he was struggling. But in hindsight, Jack did show some warning signs, including social isolation and behavioural changes, particularly at school. Sadly, his family and those around him weren’t educated enough about mental health to recognize the signs of distress. 

 

Jack’s parents, Eric Windeler and Sandra Hanington, started Jack.org to ensure that young people get the help they need. They knew that peers are in the best position to observe changes in behaviour and recognize that someone is struggling. This is especially true when students attend postsecondary school. So, when they started Jack.org, they made sure to put Canada’s youth front and centre. 

 

Now, over 2,800 young leaders volunteer with Jack.org across Canada. They work to ensure that young people are comfortable talking about their mental health and know how to support one another. That’s how we make sure that those who need help get the support they deserve.

Be There

More than ever, young people are reaching out for mental health support when they’re struggling. But too often the people around them don’t know how to respond when that happens. That’s why Jack.org created Be There, the most comprehensive and engaging online resource for young people to learn how to support each other through mental health struggle. Be There’s 5 Golden Rules teach you how to recognize when someone is struggling, to lean into tough conversations, and maintain your own mental health while showing you care. In the wake of COVID-19, with disrupted supports and unprecedented levels of isolation, we know that the skills and confidence required to identify if someone is struggling and be there for them are more important than ever. 

 

  • Be There has reached over half a million people since its launch in 2019.

  • Be There was named the Top Health Website in the World by the Webby Awards in both the People's Choice and juried categories.

  • We partnered with our good friends at Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation to bring Be There to thousands of additional young people across North America to ensure they have the skills and education to look out for and support one another during this challenging time.

  • Be There materials have been incorporated into student orientations at universities and colleges including McGill University, the University of Windsor, and the University of British Columbia Okanagan.

  • Content has also been used for staff and student training at many educational institutions including Ryerson University, Stanford University, and the University of New Brunswick.

Jack Originalss

Jack Originals is a multidisciplinary creative program aimed at developing a robust ecosystem of highly-engaging mental health content designed to elevate youth voices through storytelling and provide them with the tools they need to have coherent, fact-based conversations about mental health and its intersections with society and culture.

Evaluation

Evaluation is at the core of everything we do. Through surveys, focus groups, and interviews with our young leaders, their peers, and their teachers, we gather qualitative and quantitative data to ensure our programs are having a positive effect on mental health outcomes. We regularly evaluate our programs to ensure we stay nimble and responsive to what young people need. That’s how we know we’re having an impact.

Theory of change

Jack.org operates according to a two-tiered  theory of change. In the first tier, Jack.org  provides young people with mental health  education, leadership training, and a platform  for action. In the second tier, these trained  leaders work through Jack Talks, Jack  Chapters, and Jack Summits to educate their  peers, improve mental health attitudes and  awareness, and advocate for systems change.  Over time, their actions will create a country  where all young people are comfortable  talking about their mental health and are able  to access professional mental health support  when they need it.

Meet the 2020-21 Network Representatives

The Network Rep program empowers 13 young leaders to represent their region. They’re chosen from hundreds of applicants and work closely with Jack.org staff to move our programs forward. Below are just some highlights from their work throughout the 2020 fiscal year. 

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ABBEY LEE HALLET/HALIT

Kingston, ON

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ALEXANDRA
RADU

Montréal, QC

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CLAYTON
MURPHY

Halifax, NS

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EMILY
SATHER

Saskatoon, SK

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EZECHIEL NANA

Gatineau, QC

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JAY LEGASPI

Vancouver, BC

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PAIGE
SAVARD

Whitehorse, YT

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PATRICE CAMMARANO

Fredericton, NB

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RACHEL
ADAMS

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SADIA
FAZELYAR

Vaughn, ON

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SOPE OWOAJE

Iqaluit, NU

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TERESA CHEN

Edmonton, AB