A Kelty Youth Ambassador Project Initiative!
Sarah Irving, FORCE Youth in Residence, Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre on February 25, 2014
We have had the pleasure of meeting so many incredible young people through our Kelty Youth Ambassador program, who are so passionate about promoting mental wellness in their own communities.
As part of the Youth Ambassador program, we try to encourage the young people to come up with their own ideas and we do our best to support them with these ideas. One of our Ambassadors, Connor, had the idea to create business cards to give out to people in public who look like they need to be cheered up! This was a brilliant initiative to promote mental health and brighten someone’s day.
Connor wrote a blog post about the reactions he’s received when he’s given out the cards:
- One of the situations that I use the cards the most in is when I send people letters – I often send “encouraging letters” to friends. Usually along with a long letter I toss a card in the envelope as well and so far the reactions have been really positive. Some people really appreciate receiving mail and when they open their envelopes up and a random “compliment card” falls out I know it makes their day.
- Random Acts of Kindness. I volunteer for a Safewalk program at my University, and we get keys to all of the cafeterias and student common areas. Sometimes I leave a card or two on a table for someone to randomly find the next morning. Usually with this situation I do not get to see the people’s reaction when they find them. However, there is a “Overseen/Overheard” Facebook page where people post funny or meaningful things that they have seen around campus. A few times pictures of the Kelty cards have come up and there is a ton of positive feedback about them. Also, I sometimes left one or two in an elevator or doorway and I’ve heard a lot of fuss made about them (good fuss though!)
- On the rare occasion that I sum up enough courage to actually talk to a random stranger in public, I usually end up slipping them one of the cards. Whether someone was looking really down or it was just a friend, people have reacted very well to the cards and are very happy to have received them. Sometimes, I even tell them to “pass on the karma” and I’ve heard of a few people passing on the cards to other people and so on.
Thanks Connor for your passion and enthusiasm, and to all of our Youth Ambassadors for helping to promote mental health and wellness across BC!