Pilot Projects 2021-2022

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.