During the week of February 20, 2012, three representatives from the Durham TAMI (Talking About Mental Illness) Coalition travelled to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories to assist with the launch of the TAMI program for grade eight students.
Durham TAMI speaker, Megan Lummiss, inspires grade eight students in Yellowknife about her experience with mental illness.
“When we arrived the students were open, motivated and receptive in participating in their very first TAMI experience,” said Bob Heeney, Chair, Durham TAMI Coalition. “You could look into these groups and see these students being engaged, listening and reflecting on their lives as John and Megan spoke.”
Teachers, students, community mental health clinicians, school board superintendents and representatives from the Ministry of Social Services, NWT all participated in the training program and learned about mental health literacy, forming a coalition, speaker training, implementing the Summit Model and the In-Class Curriculum model.
“A youth in crisis in the North needs to find support from family and an overstretched educational system as they wait for services,” Heeney says. “This is a beautiful part of Canada, full of hard-working, caring people. They have found a place for TAMI in their community and we will continue to support their coalition.”
The Durham TAMI Coalition provides contact based mental health education to students and professionals regionally, provincially and nationally through the award-winning Stomping Out Stigma Summits, bringing together community agencies, schools, youth and other community members to raise awareness programs about mental illness.