Jack Talks: Youth Talk To Youth About Mental Health

Jack Talks are coming to Rainbow secondary schools in February as part of Rainbow District School Board’s ongoing efforts to continue the conversation about mental health. Guest speakers Ashley Quackenbush and Yasseen Tasabehji from Jack.org will use the power of their personal stories to inspire and educate students during a series of presentations.
Jack.org is the only national network of young leaders transforming the way we think about mental health. With initiatives and programs designed for young people, by young people, their goal is to end the stigma of mental health in their generation and increase the well-being of Canada’s young people.
Jack Talks aim to increase knowledge of mental health issues, including signs of distress and resources for help; provide audiences with tools to engage young people in conversations about their mental health; decrease mental health silence and stigma in communities; and inspire audiences to become leaders for change.
By delivering vital information in a relatable way, and speaking openly from personal experiences, young speakers make an otherwise uncomfortable conversation comfortable.
Guest speaker Ashley Quackenbush, also known as DJ Scratchely Q, was born and raised on Manitoulin Island. As a professional disc jockey, one of Ashley’s greatest achievements was opening for the Canadian band A Tribe Called Red. In addition to her role with Jack Talks, Ashley is the director of music and official DJ for Worth Living, where she uses her personal journey and knowledge of mental health to help end the stigma.
Yasseen Tasabehji was born and raised in Damascus, Syria and moved to Canada at the age of 17. A proud graduate of the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Science, Yasseen is currently pursuing his Masters of Education and Developmental Psychology at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Yasseen enjoys sharing concepts of happiness, empowerment and self-expression, and believes by lighting the candles of others, we can make the world a brighter place.
“Jack Talks contribute to the Board’s vision of creating learning environments that promote positive mental health and well-being for all,” said Norm Blaseg, Director of Education for Rainbow District School Board. “These personal and poignant presentations will inspire our students to look out for themselves and to recognize the importance of helping others who are experiencing distress.”
Rainbow District School Board adopted its first Mental Health Strategic Plan in September 2018. The plan guides the Board’s work by embedding student mental health policy within its strategic planning; raising awareness to decrease stigma and increase the capacity to recognize the signs of mental health problems early and how to access the appropriate intervention; and implementing evidence informed promotion, prevention, and intervention mental health services to promote mentally healthy classrooms.
To access the Mental Health Strategic Plan, click here:

Mental Health and Well-Being

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