national summit

2020 synthesis

May 4-8 2020: 250 delegates came together online for the first-ever Virtual Summit Experience (VSE) to push the youth mental health movement forward. Delegates participated in community building activities, workshops to hone their advocacy and mental health skills, collaboration sessions where they identified key barriers to positive mental health in their region, and meetings with the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth Bardish Chagger, and Parliamentary Secretary Adam van Koeverden, where they presented their recommendations for action. Thousands of young leaders across the country have made a lot of progress in the past few years. But we're not done yet. 

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Youth Voice


We wanted to get a clearer picture of what created mental health struggle and what stops people from accessing support in their communities. 

Here’s what respondents identified as barriers:

  • Long wait times for mental health services (89%) 

  • Lack of knowledge of mental health resources (87%) 

  • Not knowing who to speak to when struggling (85%) 

  • Stigma about mental health struggle (85%)

  • Resources are unaffordable (80%) 


Here’s what respondents identified as causing mental health struggle:

  • Academic stress (94%)

  • Financial stress (92%)

  • Relationships with family (83%)

  • Social media (78%)


To better understand the state of youth mental health right now, we asked about the impact of the response to COVID-19 on mental health. Here’s what respondents said:

  1. I feel supported by my school during the COVID-19 crisis. 

    • 46% agree

    • 19% disagree

    • 35% neutral

  2. I feel connected to my peers during this time of physical distancing.

    • 45% agree

    • 20% disagree

    • 35% neutral

  3. I accessed in-person mental health services before the COVID-19 crisis.

    • 62% agree

    • 34% disagree

    • 4% neutral

  4. I've accessed or tried to access digital mental health services during the COVID-19 crisis.

    • 22% agree

    • 59% disagree

    • 19% neutral

  5. I believe digital mental health services would meet my mental health needs.

    • 32% agree

    • 60% disagree

    • 8% neutral

  6. I  believe digital mental health services would meet my mental health needs as well as in-person services.

    • 36% agree

    • 21% disagree

    • 43% neutral

  7. The climate crisis negatively affects my mental health.

    • 48% agree

    • 25% disagree

    • 27% neutral

  8. I am concerned about the broader mental health impacts of climate change.

    • 47% agree

    • 25% disagree

    • 26% neutral

Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth

Dismantling Barriers with Minister Chagger


We presented ten recommendations on how the federal government can better support youth mental health to Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth Bardish Chagger, and Parliamentary Secretary Adam van Koeverden. Representatives from each region of the country met with Minister Chagger and her team to discuss a region-specific barrier and a solution.


And don't forget!

Connect and share with the national movement at


Jack Chapters → Bring lasting change to your community by starting or joining a Jack Chapter. Reach out to to get the ball rolling.

Jack Talks → Talks provide young people with the education to recognize signs of struggle and route people to the support they need. You can bring one to your community, host a Virtual Jack Talk, or become a Jack Talks speaker at

Do Something → The mental health movement is shaping systems, smashing stigma, and so much more. Every action is essential. Start a Do Something initiative in your community.


Be There → People are getting better at speaking up about struggle, but too few of us know how to give that essential support. Be There exists to guide you through the basics. Whether you have 5 minutes or 5 hours, get started at

Thank you to our revolutionary sponsor.

© 2020