Balancing Our Minds 2017: Community Summits

Paul, Project Coordinator on October 11, 2016

For the past four years, the annual Balancing Our Minds Youth Summit event has been my favourite day of the year. I realize I’m shortchanging a whole number of holidays, celebrations, birthdays and general life events with that statement, but I can’t help it – it’s true.

For me, the Balancing Our Minds event embodies a future that I, and the wonderful people I have the privilege of working with, work so hard for. It’s a day where stigma doesn’t exist. It’s a day where thousands of young people from all over the province get together to learn, share and celebrate the idea that mental health doesn’t need to live in the shadows of our schools, communities and personal lives. We CAN talk about mental health. And we will.

As inspiring as that day is, we know the true difference is made the other 364 days of the year in communities across the province. Since the first Balancing Our Minds event, passionate youth, school professionals and community members who attended the summit have allowed Balancing Our Minds to grow into something more than a one-day event at Rogers Arena. It is the year-round efforts of these individuals – planning events, wellness activities and school resources – that make a real difference in changing the way we discuss mental health as a community. And for that reason, we want to celebrate and continue to support those passionate individuals in their efforts to promote mental health and wellness.

So – as I’m here to announce – there will not be a Balancing Our Minds Youth Summit event at Rogers Arena this year.

Instead, we want to bring Balancing Our Minds to YOU!

Balancing Our Minds 2017: Community Summits

With support from the Canucks for Kids Fund, BC Children’s Hospital is seeking five (5) communities in British Columbia interested in planning and delivering a Balancing Our Minds Youth Summit in their community in the 2016/2017 school year. Support includes financial and planning resources from the Health Literacy Team at BC Children’s Hospital. For those of you who are not as familiar, a Balancing Our Minds Youth Summit is a one-day event focused on youth mental health, achieving the following goals:

  • Increase knowledge about mental health and substance use
  • Build awareness of available mental health tools, resources and services
  • Decrease stigma towards individuals experience mental health challenges
  • Generate ideas on how to promote mental health and wellness in your school community

If you’re interested in hosting a Balancing Our Minds Youth Summit in your community, visit our Summit Applications page for more information and fill out an application today! Applications will be open until November 4th, 2016.

The New Balancing Our Minds Webpage

From experience, we understand that planning a mental health event or school-based activity isn’t easy. We also know that these community led events and initiatives are incredibly impactful in promoting mental health and wellness throughout our school communities. So we – with the help of youth, school professionals and community members – created a Balancing Our Minds website to help support these continued efforts. It is designed to provide information and resources to those looking to plan events, school activities, share their story or support a youth speaker in their community.

On the Balancing Our Minds webpage you’ll find planning support for hosting your own Balancing Our Minds Youth Summit, school wellness activities, applications for the Balancing Our Minds community summit initiative, information on sharing your story and speaker support, a Balancing Our Minds blog, links to resources and more. Visit the website to find out for yourself!

So, this year I don’t get to celebrate my favourite day of the year at Rogers Arena. Instead, I get five favourite days. And with the resources and information provided on the Balancing Our Minds webpage, I hope everyone gets a chance to celebrate one of those special days in their own school and community.

Hopefully – sometime very soon – these days won’t seem so special. Instead, they’ll be the norm.

If you have any questions or inquiries about Balancing Our Minds Community Summits, the Balancing Our Minds webpage, or any other concerns, please email Paul Irving at


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BC Children's Hospital

This is an agency of Provincial Health Services Authority, providing provincial tertiary mental health services to the citizens of British Columbia. Programs include: Adult Tertiary Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatric Services, Child & Adolescent Mental Health, Women’s Reproductive Mental Health, as well as the Provincial Specialized Eating Disorders Program for children and youth located at the BC Children’s Hospital.

Provincial Health Services Authority

Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) is one of six health authorities – the other five health authorities serve geographic regions of BC.

Ministry of Health

British Columbia Ministry of Health

RBC Children's Mental Health Project

RBC Children’s Mental Health Project is RBC's cornerstone “health and wellness” pillar; RBC Children’s Mental Heath Project is a multi-year philanthropic commitment to support community-based and hospital programs that reduce stigma, provide early intervention and increase public awareness about children’s mental health issues.

BC Children's Hospital Foundation

Through a wide range of fundraising events and opportunities, The BC Children's Hospital Foundation is united with its donors by a single, simple passion - to improve the health and the lives of the young people who enter BC Children's Hospital every day.