Jack.org was founded by the parents of Jack Windeler who died by suicide during his first year at Queen's University. For whatever reason, Jack was unable to reach out for help. Through consultations with young people across Canada, Eric and Sandra learned that young people are more receptive to hearing from their peers sharing their own experiences. Their hope was to create an organization led by trained student advocates to break the stigma surrounding mental health by providing education and resources to those struggling or wanting to support others struggling. Jack Chapters, located across Canada, are trained youth-led groups working year-round to identify and dismantle barriers to positive mental health in their communities.
This week in Chapel, SICs of Health and Wellbeing, Fatima Shahbaz '21 and Halle Lawson '21 presented to our community about the LCS Jack Chapter. The LCS Jack Chapter is a student-led club sharing in the mission to break the stigma of mental health by identifying and dismantling barriers in the local and LCS community to cultivate positive mental health experiences for all. The students complete a series of training modules about mental health and caring for yourself then create and launch initiatives and fundraising opportunities to promote awareness and education on mental health. Through their initiatives, they also teach their peers ways to boost well-being through caring for and supporting themselves and others.
A few of the upcoming initiatives include a House Kindness Challenge in which a house chooses to shower another house in acts of kindness which is then paid forward house by house. One of the students' passion projects is to create an app for the LCS community to do a mental health check-in and learn about resources and strategies to help. They are also working on seasonal initiatives integrating the fun that can be enjoyed with each holiday and season with education and promoting mental health awareness.
There are so many great things the students are working on this year, so stay tuned for more updates!