What is United Voices?
The United Voices: Immigrant Youth Wellness Summit is the first southern Alberta mental health summit targeted towards newcomer youth. The idea was conceived last 2019 as a direct response to the unfortunate passing of a 9-year-old newcomer child who had died by suicide following a lengthy and traumatic journey as a refugee and allegations of bullying here in Calgary.
United Voices is a committee of 13 immigrant service providers (ISPs) and community organizations to explore solutions surrounding the intersections of mental health, language translation, anti-bullying, and supports for newcomer youth. This committee led to the idea for United Voices: a day-long annual youth mental health summit targeting newcomer and refugee youth which focuses specifically on eliminating the silence and stigma surrounding mental health and illness.
United Voices is the first summit to combine the resources, perspectives, skills, and expertise of multiple ISPs to impact youth on a large scale and has been lauded as the first summit of its kind for newcomer youth. The Calgary-based inter-organizational partnership committee that will support United Voices represents 13 organizations, all of whom have a wealth of experience with addressing youth mental health concerns.
The goal of this summit is to provide immigrant and refugee youth with a better understanding of mental health, ways to support other youth, and information on community services available to them. Although it will target newcomer youth, native-born Canadians are also welcome in order to foster stronger mental health supports and cross-cultural understanding.
The key activities of the event are:
- A keynote speech delivered by a presenter with lived experience.
- Breakout sessions to hear from guest speakers with lived experience (all of whom will have an immigrant background).
- Activities to better understand the importance of taking care of one’s mental health.
- Brainstorming about perceptions on mental health.
- A panel composed of our guest speakers.
- Facilitated brainstorming projects that can be executed in school to promote mental health awareness.
United Voices Survey 2023
United Voices 2022
|Alberta Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research ABSPOR Unit Patient Engagement Team
|Calgary Bridge For Youth, The (CBFY)
|Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS)
|Calgary Immigrant Women's Association (CIWA)
|Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
|Centre for Newcomers (CFN)
|Foothills Community Immigrant Services (FCIS)
|Immigrant Services Calgary (ISC)
|Mental Health Commission of Canada
|Office of the Child and Youth Advocate (OCYA)
|The Immigrant Education Society (TIES)
|Perlin Foundation for Wellbeing
|United Way - Planet Youth
|Youth Central Society