About the Program

Throughout Do You Mind? participants gain the health literacy, practical skills, and community networks needed to identify and collectively respond to the systemic and structural challenges impacting their mental health and that of their peers. Interested in participating in or delivering the Do You Mind? program in your community? Learn more about the program and its impact below.

Background: The Do You Mind? program is adapted from the successful community health leadership program Totally Outright, but with a focus on community-based mental health promotion. Participants and program partners will be equipped with knowledge and skills to develop novel community mental health promotion projects. The objectives for these projects will be to improve the mental health and well-being of queer and trans youth in their communities, while also generating knowledge of best practices to share with the broader public health sector.

If learning about mental health and developing skills to promote mental health in your community excites you (or you’re an organization or researcher interested in helping to develop such leaders) then Do You Mind? is the program for you!

At a glance

Do You Mind? is a participatory, capacity-building health leadership program for 2SLGBTQ+ youth with a focus on community-based mental health promotion. Over a range of sessions, participants complete a series of interactive workshops with other community members and community leaders to develop a critical understanding of gender and sexual minority health. They learn practical strategies for health promotion including storytelling, listening, and community care. Upon completion of this core training, Do You Mind? provides participants with opportunities to apply their knowledge and skills by developing their own community mental health promotion projects in partnership with local organizations in their cities/regions.

The primary objectives of Do You Mind? follow an asset-based approach to:

  • Build connections between participants through ongoing group participation in a community health leadership program
  • Improve health literacy through education sessions which cover a range of mental health topics
  • Train in practical skills through capacity building exercises which enhance community health promotion skills
  • Empower to solve challenges in community through the collaborative development and delivery of participant-led pilot capstone projects aimed at improving 2SLGBTQ+ mental health in their community

These objectives are met through a multi-pronged program pathway which includes:

  • Core Curriculum (Community Health Foundations and Community-Based Health Promotion)
  • Community Mental Health Capstone Pilot Project Development & Delivery

Note: Do You Mind?’s curriculum includes a number of “core” sessions that local delivery partners are expected to deliver as a part of the program. Session materials are provided to program delivery partners and are highly adaptable to ensure they are relevant to the local context. In addition to this, there are a number of “open” sessions that partners can develop and deliver themselves based on their own strengths and local participant interests.

A core curriculum comprised of two domains

Domain One: Community Health Foundations

Domain One of the program is specifically focused on the objective of “Improving Mental Health Literacy.” Do You Mind? understands that one cannot address mental health (or any area of health for that matter) in a vacuum. Instead, social, mental, emotional, physical, and sexual health are intertwined, with each influencing and influenced by the others. Therefore, to respond to participant interests and the increasing understanding of these links, the Community Mental Health Foundations domain aims to provide an initial overview of such elements and consists of enhanced language, skills, and strategies for well-being relevant to 2SLGBTQ+ youth.

There are 12 unique modules across the following areas and/or broad themes of: Cultural Identity, Social Inclusion/Social Skills, and Emotional Literacy. Each of the modules are interactive, participant-centered, and community-building. It is important to note that delivery partners are only requested to deliver one or two modules from each of the broader areas/themes (a total of 6 to 8 modules at most), and not all twelve modules. Though if they want to deliver more, the resources are available!

Domain Two: Community-Based Health Promotion

In the first domain of the program, participants gained an understanding of mental health knowledge relevant to 2SLGBTQ+ communities. Participants were equipped with some mental health strategies they can utilize to centre their own health and wellness goals. The aim of the second domain is for participants to be able to share their knowledge and expand their focus on becoming mental health leaders within their broader communities.

Throughout this domain of the program, participants are introduced to the concept of health promotion, explore their understanding of what constitutes “community”, and are encouraged to link the two. Participants develop a shared definition of community-based health promotion which will guide their learning and efforts throughout the concluding sessions of the program. Participants then engage with local research(ers), community-based organizations, and individuals leading community-based health promotion work to enhance their understanding of the gaps, assets, challenges, and opportunities local 2SLGBTQ+ people experience. Participants then complete a series of activities with this enhanced understanding, and the foundation of knowledge gained throughout the first domain of the program. Through these activities, participants identify and prioritize a number of mental health challenges they wish to address through the development and implementation of their own self-determined community-based mental health promotion project.

The core curriculum culminates with a final session wherein participants take all of the knowledge, strategies, and skills learned and apply them through the development of community-based health promotion project concepts that respond to the health challenges they prioritized in the previous session. These concepts will provide the foundation for the projects that participants will further develop and then deliver to cap off the program.

Note: Do You Mind?’s curriculum includes a number of “core” sessions that local delivery partners are expected to deliver as a part of the program. Session materials are provided to program delivery partners and are highly adaptable to ensure they are relevant to the local context. In addition to this, there are a number of “open” sessions that partners can develop and deliver themselves based on their own strengths and local participant interests.

Community Mental Health Capstone Pilot Project Development & Delivery

The project concept(s) participants develop at the end of curriculum delivery should provide valuable insight into the capstone pilot project participants will ultimately deliver. This phase of the program has proven to be exciting and empowering for both participants and delivery partners. It can look very different from site to site depending on delivery partner capacity, participant interest, program resources, and the local context. Therefore, it’s been built to be highly adaptable. Guidance on finding a community health intervention development and delivery pathway that works for a specific delivery partner’s local context is provided in the Do You Mind? facilitator guide, which can be accessed free of charge by program partners.

Note: All Do You Mind?’s program materials, including the facilitator guide and curriculum content will soon be available in both French and English language.

Dive Deeper: If you like what you’ve read, visit the Get Involved section of the site to contact CBRC to learn more about participating in or delivering the program. Otherwise, read on below to learn more about the impact of the program and to review past Do You Mind? capstone projects.

To help illustrate the impact of the Do You Mind? program on participants, partners and other professional stakeholders in its first year, we have included the 2020-2021 Evaluation Highlights Report. Read it now by clicking the link below

Read the report

As part of the Do You Mind? program, participants are empowered to develop and deliver a self-directed community mental health promotion pilot capstone project in response to a challenge facing their community. Some of the mental health promotion pilot capstone projects from 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 are highlighted below.

Edmonton Pilot Capstone Project

The 2SLGBTQ+ Intergenerational Mentorship Program was a 6-week pilot project that was created in response to the unique challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic to 2SLGBTQ+ community members. This pilot project aimed to facilitate intergenerational connections, transfer of knowledge and resources between mentors and mentees, while providing a safe, inclusive and affirming environment that reinforced cultural identity, and fostered a sense of belonging. This program was for 2SLGBTQ+ adults and young adults (18-29 yrs) in Alberta who would benefit from sharing knowledge and experience with another community member in a mentor-mentee connection. The program received significant community interest from the community with almost three times as many applicants as the program could accommodate in this community pilot project.

Report cover

Vancouver Pilot Capstone Project

Following a four-day retreat in Abbotsford to explore the intersections of the Do You Mind? cohort’s queer and trans identities with the issues of mental health and HIV, participants identified the lack of effective strategies of support when it came to sharing experiences of suicidal ideation with service providers, friends, and/or family. Hence, for the community pilot capstone project, the cohort gathered with other queer and trans youth leaders from across the Fraser Valley and created an online resource guide that identified some of the best practices that service providers, youth’s friends and families can utlize when it came to learning about their experiences of suicidal ideation. The Online Resource Guide on Effective Responses to Youth Mental Health Challenges is available on YouthCO’s website.

Halifax Pilot Capstone Project

Small Wins, Queer Victories was a creative writing workshop that celebrated all types of success in the queer community. This intervention explored how even the smallest win can produce meaningful change both for personal and community well-being. With a focus on creating zines (small, independent publications), this workshop explored the use of art-based approaches (e.g., creative writing) to address key mental health themes. Some key themes that arose through youth’s works include: Queer Mentorship, Coping Strategies, Coming-out Stories (including challenges that one may have had to overcome), How to build relationships (friendships/dating tips), Indigenous Treaty Rights/Resources, and Allyship: Things to remember for non-bipoc folks.

To learn more about these interventions, check out our previous webinar, Do You Mind? Community-led Responses to 2SLGBTQ+ Youth Mental Health.

Edmonton Pilot Capstone Project

Rural 2SLGBTQA+ youth aged 18-29 (and urban youth with rural backgrounds) in Alberta were identified as lacking in resources and facilities to help them navigate within (or out of) rural queer community, and connect with potential mentors, partners, and peers. Hence, to address this issue, the Edmonton Do You Mind? cohort invited youth aged 18-29 to the Rural Queer Connections zine writing workshop for share stories, anecdotes, advice, and tips related to their lived experiences as 2SLGBTQA+ people in rural Alberta. The workshop focused on developing skills around personal wellness, zine-making, writing, mental health literacy, and creative expression. Youth’s stories offer valuable insight and guidance on maintaining youth’s emotional, environmental, social, physical, intellectual, occupational, and spiritual health. Selected stories from the workshop will soon be compiled into both a printed and virtual zine which will be available on the EMHC website in the coming months.

Zine making flyer

Halifax Pilot Capstone Project

Queering Professionalism workshop was created for young adults first entering the workplace, and focused on learning about workplace boundaries and how to avoid exploitation of labour in order to protect their mental health. The objectives of the workshop were to illustrate the differences between healthy and unhealthy workplace environments, how to maintain work/life balance, and develop boundary setting skills, such as how to have productive conversations on one’s needs and boundaries with work management and how to go about reporting worker exploitation. This pilot project wrapped up with a completed visual output encompassing the workshop discussion, and is available for wider community dissemination virtually on Youth Project’s social media.

Ottawa Pilot Capstone Project

The new Ottawa Do You Mind? cohort found it incredibly impactful to have deep conversations around aspects of being queer - the experiences of dating, of loss, of childhood, etc. and how all queer folks experience those but rarely talk about it. The realized how few spaces there are for queer people to gather socially that aren’t gathered around consumption. Thus, their pilot initiative wanted to address this gap and highlight the value in coming together as a community to unpack and validate our experiences. They created a 4-week interactive journaling/art workshop called Queer Space!, which acted as a social space conducive to having conversations that queer people often want to have but don’t commonly feel they have the permission. The main objectives for this project were to connect 2SLGBTQ+ youth with each other, and strengthen their sense of community connection; facilitate conversation in which participants are able to process their own queer identity, and finally help participants develop an emotional health tool kit for processing what comes up in the sessions that they can take with them after the pilot project concludes.

Vancouver Pilot Capstone Project

For the recent pilot project, Vancouver cohort created an art-based mental health resource that reflected the ways in which queer & trans identities nourish, support, and transform themselves and their communities. This resource highlighted the ways in which queer & trans identities support and sustain their mental well-being. The 10-panel graphic project was shared across YouthCO’s various platforms and was also installed for a public viewing where others could engage with the resource and share feedback and also contribute to the resource by adding ways their queer & trans identities nourish them and support their mental health.