Normalize mental health + gain new skills.
The Jack Talks program uses contact-based education and a peer-to-peer approach to teach young people across Canada that we all have mental health and we all need to take care of it. Trained youth speakers share tips, tools, and stories alongside a carefully created curriculum that helps audiences understand what mental health is, how to identify a crisis, how to seek help, and how to support a friend who may be struggling. Audiences are encouraged to keep the conversation going with concrete steps to create lasting change.
When it comes to mental health, young people are most likely to listen to someone of a similar age or lived experience - that's you! As a Jack Talks Speaker, you’ll travel to schools and youth-centric communities to deliver engaging mental health presentations that young people will actually listen to. We’ll walk you through a comprehensive training program that will equip you with the tools and skills needed to connect with and captivate a youth audience.
In the past year alone, 100 trained speakers delivered over 500 Talks in communities across Canada.
What do you gain as a Jack Talks Speaker?
- Foundational mental health knowledge
- Public speaking skills, tools to meaningfully engage audiences, and ongoing coaching opportunities
- Safe storytelling skills
- A staff team that provides outreach, marketing, and logistical support to connect you with Jack Talk opportunities in your community and across Canada
- The opportunity to travel to other communities to deliver in-person Talks or deliver Talks virtually
- The platform to spark mental health conversations and lead mental health education with youth
- An annual honorarium, volunteer hours (where applicable), and professional references (as requested)
Already have previous experience in public speaking or facilitating mental health conversations? We are piloting a new speaker model that offers additional training opportunities and more advanced Jack Talks. Learn more about this pilot and our current Senior Speaker cohort here.
Who can apply to become a Jack Talks Speaker?
Speakers must be 18 or older. We say 26 years old is the ceiling, but TBH, that's a loose restriction. As long as you’re able to relate to young people on a peer-to-peer level, we encourage you to apply.
What’s Involved in Becoming a Speaker?
Once your application has been reviewed for safety considerations and program alignment, you’ll be invited to participate in our Jack Talks Speaker Training.
The training program is structured like an online course with live coaching. The content is broken down into units (which include a mixture of text and videos, as well as assignments to demonstrate your learning) that can be completed independently at your convenience.
A dedicated Jack.org staff member provides ongoing, personalized coaching and support to help you develop your skills and knowledge.
Training is typically broken down like so:
- 2 weeks to complete the orientation and training content on our online learning platform. This part of training includes two assignments and optional coaching calls.
Once you successfully complete your final Mock Talk, and your coach deems you ‘stage ready’, you will officially be a certified Jack Talks Speaker!
- 2-3 weeks to deliver practice Jack Talks (‘Mock Talks’), where you will present the Jack Talk as you would to a live audience and receive 1-1 coaching along the way.Once per year (typically over the summer) speakers will be taken through a quick recertification process to brush up on Talk content and learn about any new changes to the Jack Talk.
Learn more by reading our Guide to Becoming a Jack Talks Speaker
We encourage you to check out our Pre-Recorded Personal Edition of the Jack Talk. This will help you understand what the Talk is all about and the skills you will gain as a speaker.
Before you apply
Ready to apply?
Fill out the online application form (below) and a member of the Jack Talks Team will get in touch. Questions? Contact the Jack Talks Team directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: We welcome applications on a rolling basis, but acceptance into the training program will be contingent on organizational capacity and regional speaker needs. If we are unable to take you on as a speaker at this time, we will let you know and invite you back to be a part of our larger training cohort that takes place over the summer.