Young people have the power to have a transformative impact on programs and policies when they’re brought to the table as partners. This year, our 13 Network Representatives were involved in advising on five different portfolios: Jack Talks, Jack Chapters, Be There, Evaluation, and Youth Engagement. This work helps to ensure our programs continue to be informed by young people, while also providing a chance for young people to learn by doing.
This year’s Network Representatives were: Abbey Gartner, Abeer Ansari, Angel Ehizibue, Dakota MacWilliams, Emilie Cloutier Debaque, Fiona Mak, Graysen Schury, Jessica Young, Katerina Kolobaric, Lindsay Currie, Nora Vincent-Braun, Trechelle Bunn, and Victory Angeli. We are immensely grateful to each of the Network Representatives for the expertise and enthusiasm they brought to their roles this year. In keeping youth voice and leadership at the forefront of our work, we ensure our programs remain relevant to and reflective of young people’s experiences.
Each year, we hire two former Network Representatives to bring youth voice and expertise to our Board of Directors as Youth Network Advisors. This year, we were grateful to Clayton Murphy and Ezechiel Nana — who sat on the Jack.org Board of Directors as well as the Mental Health and Advocacy Committee — for bringing crucial programmatic, regional, and personal expertise to the Board.
Jack Talks are mental health presentations by youth, for youth. Jack Talks give young people the space to learn mental health essentials, including signs of struggle, the role of the social determinants of mental health, and where to seek support if they or someone they know is struggling — all from a peer they can relate to.
With support from the Public Health Agency of Canada, we were able to launch the Jack Talk for Indigenous Youth, which explores mental health and healing across Turtle Island through culturally-relevant lenses and practices. Under the care of an Indigenous facilitator, Indigenous youth build foundational mental health knowledge by hearing stories and lessons from their peers and taking part in a sharing circle. This new offering provides a much needed safe space for Indigenous youth to learn about struggle while also building community connection with one another.
In partnership with Hydro One, we hosted Exploring Mental Health In The Classroom, a special Jack Talk and panel discussion designed to help educators learn about mental health resources for their students, hear from other educators, and learn tactics to better support youth mental health in their classrooms.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 40,000 people were reached by a Jack Talk
- 325 Jack Talks were delivered
- 95 trained Jack Talks Speakers at work in every province and territory
- 88% of Jack Talks organizers said they were satisfied with the Talk
“Teachers are sometimes afraid to address a student’s mental health as they don’t feel equipped to provide them with the support they need. What I love about Jack.org is how the facilitators clearly outline how to identify the signs of struggle in young people and access appropriate support.
Educator, Avon Maitland District School Board
is an award-winning resource that equips users with the knowledge and skill to support their peers through a mental health struggle while looking out for their own mental health too.
Young people are often the first to notice when a friend or classmate is struggling with their mental health. When we surveyed 1,200 youth, 83% said they had been asked to support a peer with their mental health, but only 39% said they knew how.
Be There’s 5 Golden Rules give users a simple and effective framework to use when showing up for someone who’s struggling. The Be There Certificate (BTC), created in partnership with our friends at Born This Way Foundation, enhances users’ support skills by providing them with space to deepen their understanding of Be There’s essential learning and apply it in real life scenarios. We also expanded our Be There workshop offerings, which allow participants to deep dive into Be There’s learning.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 429,000+ people visited Be There and the Be There Certificate
- 15,000+ Be There Certifications ↑125% growth compared to FY22
- 16 Be There Workshops held
- 96% said the BTC improved their ability to recognize mental health struggle
- 97% said the BTC improved their confidence with supporting someone through a mental health struggle
“The Be There Certificate is an essential resource for any person looking to strengthen their knowledge about how to support folks in times of stress or struggle, as well as ways to care for ourselves. One of my favourite components is its diversity, not only in the learning content, but also in the ways that different experiences, cultures, bodies, and languages are celebrated throughout the course.
Be There Certificate user
No two communities are exactly the same, and young people know their communities best. That’s why the Jack Chapter
program provides youth in communities from every region of the country with the resources and platform they need to design their own mental health initiatives and reach community-members with content that’s tailored to their needs.
This year, we were proud to support Jack Chapters as they led workshops for their peers on body image, helped them navigate mental health services in their communities by creating custom resources, and created spaces of affirmation and learning for their peers on campus.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 2,400+ young people volunteer with a Jack Chapter
- 420 mental health education initiatives held by
- 158 active Jack Chapters
- 89% of Jack Chapter members found the program valuable
“Our Chapter is small but mighty, and [the Chapter Youth Advisory Group] provided a great opportunity for me to connect with other leaders in the Chapter programs about their wins and challenges. I received great insight from other youth about how they’ve been successful and have been able to take a lot of this information back to my own Chapter!
Youth Chapter Advisory Group member, Ontario
Jack Summits are youth-focused conferences that bring young people together from across the country to learn new mental health advocacy tactics and build community with other young people.
This year, Jack Summits brought young people together for four Regional Summits — Northern, Eastern, Western, and Central — to explore the distinct challenges that exist in each of these parts of the country. We also hosted National Jack Summit in Toronto, where we introduced the Advocacy Skills Framework, a four-step process to help delegates create an informed and strategic course of action when launching new mental health advocacy initiatives. This framework gives youth the blueprint to understand the issues, collaborate with peers, chart a course of action, and ultimately make change in a sustainable and informed way.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 350+ young people were brought together by
- 5 Jack Summits across the country
- 81% of attendees said they learned a new skill that would help them take mental health action in their communities
- 83% of National Jack Summit delegates indicated that the Advocacy Journey would be helpful when tackling new advocacy initiatives
Our New Strategy
The Plan to Create a Mentally Healthy World for Youth
We recognize that the needs of young people have changed since our inception in 2013. We must too. Our new Strategic Plan — created over a year of intense collaboration with our incredible staff, youth advisors, and Board — outlines our blueprint for how Jack.org will strategically adapt to meet the evolving needs of youth. At its foundation, we will:
- Lean into youth leadership. Youth are experts in their own experiences, and their insights into key issues — barriers to help-seeking, stigma, and cultural relevance to name just a few — are critical to building supports that actually work for youth. That’s why our robust network of thousands of youth from coast to coast will continue to be at the heart of our work and impact.
- Build more mental health education and support resources to meet diverse needs. Young people are not a monolith. They deserve to be met with mental health education that speaks to their own experiences and challenges. In partnership with allies and in lockstep with young people, we will design culturally-relevant resources for young people who are less likely to have access to the education and support they need.
- Create communities of belonging. Our mental health depends on those around us. In fact, access to a supportive community is a key influencer of our mental wellbeing. Our work will foster safe spaces for young people, build networks that are intentionally inclusive, and help ensure young people have a supportive person to turn to when they need it.
- Centre those who’ve been historically excluded. We recognize that not all young people have been welcomed into the mental health conversation. Too often, it’s been those who face systemic barriers and who most need a supportive community that have been missed. To change that, we will centre those who’ve been historically excluded so that their voices can guide our path to a more healthy and inclusive future.
- Bring youth voice into decision-making. Young people’s insights are critical if we want to enable help-seeking, build systems that work for them, and set them up with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive. We will work closely with youth to enable pathways of communication between young people and adults who are working to improve the mental health of youth in Canada.
Working alongside young people every step of the way, we will reach more youth with vital mental health literacy and support; we will centre our work around those who have been historically excluded; and we will harness the knowledge, insight, and power of young people so their voices have a say in the decisions that impact them. Together with our community allies and partners, we will create a country where young people’s mental health can thrive, and where distress becomes a thing of the past.
Setting the Stage for Sustained Impact
2023 AUDITED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
We are grateful for the tremendous support we’ve received from our community, corporate, and government partners this year. Their sincere commitment to and belief in Jack.org’s programs ensure that we will be able to continue to make a vital impact on young people’s mental health. Thanks to the generous support we received, Jack.org remains in a healthy financial position.
We hold ourselves to the highest standards of accountability and transparency for our supporters. Each year, we undergo a robust independent audit to ensure the maximum degree of confidence in our financial health, which we are proud to be able to publish.
Financial Highlights for Fiscal Year 2023
- Total Revenue: This year, we received a total of $8,792,832 in revenue. This amount represents generous contributions from individual donors, grants from foundations and government partners, and support from our corporate partners.
- Program Expenses: $7,981,928 of our revenue this year supported our programs, enabling us to reach thousands of young people with vital mental health education, support skills, and community connections that prevent crises and improve lives. We are committed to ensuring that the majority of our resources continue to directly support our mission.
- Administrative and Fundraising Expenses: We work hard to ensure that Jack.org operations are run efficiently, ensuring as much revenue as possible goes toward our cause. This year, $2,965,192 of our revenue supported our internal administration and fundraising initiatives.
We are grateful to the sponsors, partners, individual donors, and foundations that have contributed to our financial health this past year. The financial resources we have been trusted with will allow us to expand our offerings to more youth than ever before, and reach those who are in most need of mental health conversation and support. We look forward to continued growth and improvement, made possible by our supporters.
The Vital Allies Who Make Our Work Possible
We hope this report illustrates the impact that Jack.org is having on young people across Canada. Together, we are not only preventing distress, we are setting youth up with the foundation they need to thrive in mental wellness. We are grateful to have you along for the journey.