This is not a site for personal disclosure of mental health distress, suicidal thoughts or behaviours. If you are in crisis, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department for assistance.

Advocacy Tools: Goal Setting

Goal Setting

WELCOME! This document is adapted from’s many resources to train and equip young leaders to take action for mental health across Canada. We’re thrilled to be sharing our learnings externally with this resource.

• Define the purpose of having a group like yours in your community, and draft a purpose statement that will help guide your work throughout the year
• Determine goals to address the needs you see as important in your community
• Develop an understanding of how to measure and maximize the impact of your actions

Identifying Your Team’s Purpose
Now that your team has reflected on your specific community’s culture surrounding mental health, what is the purpose of starting a group like yours in the community? Broadly speaking, why do you need a group like yours? Drafting a purpose statement will allow your team to clearly articulate what you hope to achieve as a team. Your team can refer back to this purpose statement throughout the year to ensure your work as a group is clearly in line with your purpose.

An example of a team’s purpose statement may look something like:

The purpose of our team is to work towards a community where people know how to recognize when they’re struggling with their mental health, know where they can go for help, and get help without feeling shame or being shamed by others.

Note: the purpose statement you’ll draft with your team doesn’t have to take the format above. It could take the form of sentences, a paragraph, or bullet points.​

ACTIVITY: Drafting your Team Purpose Statement (10 mins)
For this activity, work to identify themes surrounding the culture of mental health at your school. Remember that your purpose statement can be sentences, a short paragraph, or bullet points.

1. As a group, discuss why your community needs a group like yours and what you hope to broadly achieve within your community. Have someone take notes on a whiteboard or flipchart paper. (5 mins)

2. As a group, formulate your findings into a purpose statement and record it somewhere you can refer back to. (5 mins)

Goal Setting

Now that you’ve come up with a purpose statement to define your role as a team, your group will now dig a little deeper to identify what goals you hope to achieve in order to address the themes surrounding mental health in your community.

ACTIVITY: Setting goals for your Team (15 mins)​


1. On a whiteboard or using flip-chart paper, create two columns and label the left column ‘Barriers’ and the right column ‘Goals’.

2. Place the themes of barriers you’ve come up with into the left column.

3. Go through each theme and discuss as a group what goal(s) would address these barriers to have a positive impact on issues surrounding mental health. (12 mins)

4. Write your goals in the right column next to each corresponding theme. Have someone record your findings. (3 mins)

Here’s an example of what this process might look like:


Goal Setting Tips
Consider the following list of achievable goal criteria to ensure your goals are setting your team up for success.