What is a Virtual Jack Talk? Good question!
Jack.org created the Virtual Jack Talk to ensure young people continue to have access to first-rate mental health education during isolation and disrupted schedules. As a new addition to the Jack Talks program, the Virtual Jack Talk uses peer-to-peer education to teach young people how to identify signs of struggle, how to look out for themselves and one another, and how to access support.
The Virtual Jack Talk is designed to meet the needs of organizers and/or young persons who are unable to host or receive in-person talks. The content is based on a professionally-developed curriculum and focuses on equating the importance of mental health to that of physical health. When you book a Virtual Jack Talk, you are provided with a digital learning environment that includes a professionally-recorded Jack Talk, discussion guides, prompts, quizzes and more. We are leveraging technology to support improved learning outcomes especially in times when group gatherings may not be feasible.
The Virtual Jack Talk aims to reduce barriers to help-seeking through the goals of all Jack.org programs:
- Increasing mental health awareness, knowledge, and literacy
- Reducing negative attitudes like shame, stigma, and silence
- Advocating for more appropriate and accessible services
The talk is designed for young people aged 15-24. Each talk is delivered by two trained youth speakers aged 18-24 so that there is an authentic peer-to-peer connection between the speakers and the audience. The speakers share their own mental health story in accordance with our Safe Storytelling guidelines which ensure that audiences receive the story in a way that is non-triggering and positive. They also educate audiences about the basics of mental health, including the dual spectrum of mental health on which we all - without exception - exist. Speakers share lessons on how to recognize signs of struggle in themselves and their peers, and how to be there for those who might be struggling. Most importantly, the talk covers how to connect with resources, so that audiences have actionable next steps they can undertake.
The Virtual Jack Talk is not intended to be a replacement of the in-person Jack Talk. In fact, where possible, organizers are encouraged to book an in-person talk even after hearing the Virtual Jack Talk.