Small Ideas: $10,000


The Canadian Mental Health Association - Grey Bruce branch has been offering the Grey Bruce Friends and Neighbours (FAN Club) program since 2003. The FAN Club is a troupe of child-sized puppets that visit children ages 4 to 11 to talk, listen, learn and discuss social issues affecting them. Topics covered include good self-esteem, dealing with anger, talking about your feelings, dealing with change, appreciating our differences, coping with bullies and reaching our for help. The goal of every presentation is to talk about positive mental health, encourage help seeking behaviours and promote youth-focused services within our community and beyond.
We currently provide up to 200 FAN Club puppet presentations a year to almost 5,000 children a year. The majority of the presentations take place in a school setting but we also provide presentations at fall fairs, churches, and other community organizations. We honestly are limited to the amount of presentations and the amount of people we can talk to by our staff capacity.
But we would love to reach more kids and have our positive mental health messages be available even on days we are not making presentations.
That is where this video project comes in.
We are so lucky to work with so many wonderful community partners. Like others, we certainly couldn't achieve what we achieve in solo. We would like to take advantage of holidays such as Christmas and March Break and Family Day as well as special awareness events such as Mental Health Week and Mental Illness Awareness Week and Children's Grief Awareness day to further spread these messages.
To do this, we propose to work with local youth in our community and community partners to create video messages we can have available on our website and on our social media pages. One example would be to work with our local EMS services to create a FAN Club video on Hallowe'en safety to roll out prior to Hallowe'en night. We would also work with our police services to put together a video leading up to Pink Shirt Day.
This project would take advantage of the positive reputation of our program locally as well as the unlimited number of community partners and the reach of social media to help us further promote children's health and wellbeing in our community.

The project has so many wins! It provides CMHA Grey Bruce an opportunity to partner with fun local talented youth to help create the scenarios and scenes of the awareness videos providing them valuable work experiences. It also helps raise awareness of the positive helping nature of our many community partners. It takes advantage of social media to help us promote our messages of good mental health and wellbeing farther and wider than ever before, even potentially farther than the reaches of Grey and Bruce counties.

First step, local reach. Next step, THE WORLD! :)

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Canadian Mental Health Association - Grey Bruce Branch

Location: Owen Sound