“Girls, women, females, they make up the majority of the population. So, I think to focus on empowering those individuals, to let them see their full potential, rather than just what they’re told they can accomplish, is super important.”
Jayda Hope is using her voice to end mental health stigma.
Jayda wants people to understand that everyone has mental health. Although statistics show that one in five people will be involved with a mental illness, five out of those five people have mental health — an important realization to make when discussing the topic. She’s one of four Winnipeg students who created Peace of Mind 204 as a way to increase the conversation surrounding mental health, especially among young people.
Since it began in 2015, Peace of Mind 204 has expanded to become a registered non-profit with a second branch, Peace of Mind 416, developed in Ontario. The group organizes Youth Against Mental Illness Stigma or YAMHIS events that gather hundreds of people to share their experiences with mental health. Students, parents, teachers, social justice activists and government officials have all taken the stage during these events to share their experiences, or to sit in the crowd and witness the power of conversation.
In 2016, Jayda was selected to participate in the MCIC Spoken Word Project, where she created an original live poetry piece discussing the impacts of fair trade.
In 2017, Jayda and her fellow Peace of Mind initiators were awarded a Young Humanitarian Award for their dedication to end the stigma preventing many young people from getting help.