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identify as Indigenous
identify as members of the LGBTQ2S+ community
identify as members of a visible minority group
live with a disability
live with a diagnosed mental illness
have experienced a mental health struggle


Wellness Activity: Body Scrub
5:00PM - 6:00PM

Regional Meetup: Option 1

7:00PM – 8:00 PM


Keynote: Dr. Saira Sabzaali

5:30PM - 6:15PM

Panel: Highlights from the Network

7:00PM - 7:45PM


Regional Meetup: Option 2

8:00PM - 9:00PM


Regional Meetup: Option 3

4:00PM - 5:00PM

Panel: Global Perspectives on Mental Health Advocacy

5:30PM - 6:15PM

Jack Music

7:30PM - 9:00PM


Optional Wellness Activity: Dance!

9:30AM - 10:30AM

Welcome & Land Acknowledgement 

11:00AM - 11:30AM


Building a Foundation of Inclusion for Our Summit

11:30AM - 12:30PM


Unbox: Collaboration Session #1

12:30PM - 1:15PM


Screen & Wellness Break

1:15PM - 2:15PM



2:15PM - 3:15PM


Unfold: Collaboration Session #2

3:30PM - 5:00PM


Keynote: Dr. James Makokis

5:00PM - 5:45PM


Optional Social Activity: Paint Night

8:00PM - 10:00PM


Optional Wellness Activity: Mindful Breathing

9:30AM - 10:30AM

Welcome Back & Mindfulness Activity

11:00AM - 11:30AM


Panel: Intersections, Social Determinants & Access to Care

11:30AM - 12:30PM



12:30PM - 1:30PM


Screen & Wellness Break

1:30PM - 2:30PM


Keynote: David Hogg

2:30PM - 3:15PM


Unstoppable: Collaboration Session #3

3:15PM - 4:00PM


Undivided: Decision Maker Panel

4:15PM - 5:15PM


Closing & Wrap Video Unveiling

5:15PM - 5:30PM

Summit program at a glance.

*Time zone is in EDT

Program at a glance

Meet the national summit delegates.

identify as female
identify as male
identify as non-binary
identify as gender queer / gender fluid
identify as non conforming
identify as 2SLGBTQ+ / queer
identify as Indigenous
identify as a visible minority
identify as living with a mental illness
identify as living with a disability

Our work on the ground, over the past year. 

It has been quite a year. We faced trials we never thought we would encounter. We’ve changed the way we work, live, and learn. But one thing has remained constant: the power and strength of this network of change makers. We have not slowed down. Instead, we’ve rallied and have come together in new ways to continue to drive change forward. We have remained Undivided.

Despite the challenges of the last  year, we managed to reach over 25, 000 people through our live-streamed and pre-recorded Jack Talks, and 12,000 people  through our Jack Chapters program, even as many chapters went entirely virtual this year. This year, and surpassed 500,000 visitors, and we also humbly accepted the Webby Award for Top Health Site in the world. This speaks to the tremendous commitment that we all have for this cause, and that people all across this country are incredibly committed to further the mental health revolution.

All of these incredible milestones are representative of the hard work you put in on the ground every day to ensure that we are building the kind of future that all young people deserve. 


So where do we go from here? As you continue to tackle the challenges of this new-normal and continue advocating for the issues close to our hearts, it has never been more important to do so together. There is power in a collective. We are stronger together, as a community of driven, knowledgeable advocates striving to create lasting change. National Jack Summit 2021 is the space for us to gather and leverage the power of this network, to reflect on all that we’ve built and all that still needs building; let’s learn from one another, grow together, and leave better equipped to face this work head on — all of us. 

Need-to-know information.



Drumroll... as you've seen mentioned in our update emails (or, as you may recall from last year’s VSE or any Regional Summits you may have attended this year), we will be using an event app during our National Summit called Whova. Think of it as our home base during the summit. Whova will house all the information you need to have a successful and seamless virtual summit experience. You’ll find the full agenda, speaker bios and information, regional meet up times, links to cool resources and programming elements, and everything in between! In addition, you will be able to: 

  • Set up your profile 

  • Say hello to your fellow delegates (found in the Community tab)

  • See and share #JackSummit and #Undivided social media posts

  • Access the call-in information and numbers for Zoom in case there are tech challenges

  • Check out some of the resources and cool groups we have come across during our work (found in the Documents button on the main page)


Please note: there is a Whova app as well as a web page. We recommend using both to get the full experience. 




For all our programming (keynotes, workshops, etc.), we will be using the video conferencing software we all know and love: Zoom. The link to the Zoom Summit Room can be found in all of the agenda descriptions on Whova, and you can join the Zoom Room directly by copying the link into your browser. On Zoom, you will have the ability to:

  • Watch all the live content Friday and Saturday

  • Share your reactions in the Chat or use the React function

  • Submit a question to be shared with keynotes

  • Or optionally share your questions directly by typing "pass me the mic" and coming up onto our virtual stage 


In order for things to run smoothly this weekend, we recommend following this Tech Checklist before Jack Summit begins next week:

  • Prepare your computer by performing any necessary updates

  • Test your connection and download the Zoom desktop or smartphone app (and make sure it is updated to the latest version. This is imperative for a seamless summit experience this weekend.)

  • Give yourself lots of time before the first session in case you run into any tech issues 

  • Shut and quit apps, browsers, and tabs that you are not using – if you have a million tabs open, your computer is going to have less power to commit to a solid video/audio experience

Meet the delegates
Need-to-know info

Program information.

À nos ami.e.s francophones:

L'événement se déroulera en anglais, mais nos collègues francophones seront là pour vous épauler en cas de besoin. Si vous avez des questions qui ont plus faciles à demander en français, faites-nous en part à

Video Content


To get your advocacy juices flowing, we’ll be making use of Whova and sharing awesome, customized video content with you in the days leading up to our Summit weekend. You’ll be able to browse the agenda to learn more about these videos (although some will remain a surprise until their release) and receive notifications when they’re available for viewing, but here are just a few of the individuals and organizations that will be sharing their message with you through video:

  • Svetlana Chernienko
    Svetlana Chernienko is a Canadian mental health advocate, activist, mother, model, writer, and businesswoman. She is also an advocate for anti-bullying, survivors of domestic violence, the #Metoo movement, the 2SLGBTQ+ community, women’s rights, and the Black Lives Matter Movement. 

    Svetlana Chernienko lives in Montreal, Canada, with her four children. Professionally, Svetlana is a motivational speaker, mental well-ness coach, small business owner, and founder of a non-profit organization.

    Like many women, Svetlana is a survivor of domestic abuse. As a result, she spent more than 15 years battling Generalized Anxiety Panic Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Depression.

    Svetlana now works to guide young women and mothers as they overcome abuse and mental illness. Svetlana's mission is to erase the stigma of mental illness, end racism, and build up her community so that, no matter what they may be facing, they can find hope and rest easy knowing that they have the support needed to carry on.


  • PaRx
    PaRx is an initiative of the BC Parks Foundation, driven by health-care professionals who want to improve their patients’ health by connecting them to nature. Featuring practical resources like quick tips and patient handouts, its goal is to make prescribing time in nature simple, fun, and effective.


  • Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday—Regional Meetups
    Making time for you to interact with youth in your region, your Program Coordinator, and local Network Rep have become a huge priority for us at the National Summit, so we’ll be offering you three different Regional Meetup options to choose from. Choose the session that’s most convenient for you and hop in to connect, in a very low-pressure way, with your regional network. 

  • Friday Night—Jack Music (National Summit launch party)
    Jack Music is back! To get our weekend started, we’ll be kicking things off with this unique music meets mental health event. Jack Music begins at 7:30PM EDT and will feature a roster of incredible Canadian artists including Leith Ross and TOBi.

  • Saturday Night—Paint Night
    Grab some paper, pencil crayons, a canvas, paint, and/or whatever you have handy to create your masterpiece! Artists of all skill levels are welcome to paint, draw, and/or colour along.


Wellness Activities

In the spirit of self-care, we’ll be offering optimal wellness activities throughout the National Summit for you to participate in. These activities will range from:

  • Body Scrub
    Make your own body scrub* (alongside a skin care enthusiast) to use during your next self-care spa night. You'll only need three household ingredients to make this, and your skin will thank you!
    *The specific ingredient list beforehand on Whova


  • Outdoor Scavenger Hunt (on Whova)
    Take a break from the screen and take part in an outdoor scavenger hunt! We'll be asking you to get outside, snap pics, and find the beauty in your neighbourhood, and you’ll have a chance to win some awesome prizes. 

  • Dance! 
    Put on some comfy clothes you can move around in and get ready to dance! Follow along with our cardio dance party instructor in this beginners dance class. 

  • Mindful Breathing
    Find some zen on Sunday morning. Come ready to reflect, relax and stretch. We hope this session will leave you feeling open and raring to take on our final day together.

Building a Foundation of Inclusion for Our Summit

This session will set the tone for Summit and establish a shared foundation around inclusion and allyship. It will discuss the impact of oppression on mental health, what it means to be an ally, and how to set boundaries in our roles. Delegates will gain a common language, principles, and approach for having difficult conversations. Finally, delegates will share ideas on how to bring these principles of inclusion to their daily lives while studying or working in diverse industries.

Keynote Speakers

Program info
Video Content
Wellness Activities
Keynote Speakers
Dr. Saira Sabzaali

Dr. Saira Sabzaali is a transpersonal therapist who works with people who want to incorporate their cultural values and spiritual beliefs into therapy. Outside of her work as a therapist and mental-health educator, Dr. Saira teaches in the Counselling Program at Stenberg College in Surrey, B.C. She also has a podcast with her husband called "Sabzi Life" that explores conscious living while parenting. Dr. Saira is an avid volunteer, and currently sits on the Board of the Canadian Mental Health Association (Vancouver/Fraser Branch). 


Dr. Saira has spoken on two TedX stages and offers mental health education seminars and workshops with a special interest in supporting children and their caregivers, understanding trauma and addiction, and managing burn-out. Her private practice is based near Shuswap Lake, BC.


To learn more about Dr. Saira or to view her TedX talks, please visit

Dr. James Makokis

Dr. James Makokis is a proud Cree from the Saddle Lake First Nation in Northern Alberta. His strong connections to preventative health, spirituality, and Twospirit perspective has helped him save lives within the LGBTQ2 and First Nation communities. He leads one of North America’s most progressive and successful transgender focused medical practices and is one of the few physicians in Canada who facilitates the wellness of Transgender people through supporting hormone replacement therapy. Dr. James Makokis holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Sciences, a Master of Health Science in Community Nutrition, and a Doctorate in Medicine. He also received certification from the Aboriginal Family Medicine Training Program. Dr. Makokis also served as the Spokesperson for the National Aboriginal Health Organization’s Role Model Program and was the recipient of the 2007 National Aboriginal Achievement Special Youth Award, the highest formal recognition bestowed upon an individual from Indigenous communities. He and his partner, Anthony Johnson, who is also Two Spirit and has a similar story to Dr. Makokis, were recently crowned the Season 7 winners of the Amazing Race Canada. As a doctor, national presenter, and proud member of the LGBTQ2 and First Nation community, Dr. James Makokis offers a truly unique perspective when audiences hear his story.

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David Hogg

Thrust into the world of activism by the largest school shooting in American history, Parkland survivor David Hogg has become one of the most compelling voices of his generation. His call to “get over politics and get something done” challenges Americans to stand up, speak out and work to elect morally just leaders, regardless of party affiliation. David’s eloquent responses to America’s largest school shooting immediately placed him in the national and international media spotlight. Committed to becoming an agent for change, he resolved that no other young person should have to experience the tragic impact of gun violence. He joined with friends from high school to co-found March For Our Lives, now one of the world’s largest youth-led movements. Five weeks after the shooting, March For Our Lives mobilized one of the biggest demonstrations in American history. Speaking before an

estimated 800,000 protestors in Washington, D.C., David declared, “The sun shines on a new day—and it is ours!”  – A prolific voice on social media with more than a million followers, David uses his platform to promote civic engagement, activism, and voting. As a speaker, he informs, challenges, and energizes, empowering his generation to resist apathy and become catalysts for positive social change. “People call us snowflakes,” he once tweeted. “What happens when snowflakes vote? That’s called an avalanche.”

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David Grant is a social worker with a specialized interest in mental health, particularly in the mental and emotional health of Black African Diaspora boys and men...


Eric Coly is a mental health advocate and the founder and CEO of Ayana, a technology company that offers access to therapy by enabling virtual...


Larissa is a restorative circle keeper, published Indigenous and anti-racism researcher, award-winning ribbon skirt artist, and proudly passes on Métis and Jamaican...

Workshops – Saturday & Sunday

Thanks to your thoughtful delegate applications, we were able to zero in on topics you are eager to explore in our Summit programming. With this in mind, we will be offering the four following workshops for you to choose from, all hand-picked or designed with delegates in mind.  


An important note: We’ll be running all workshops twice, on Saturday and Sunday, so you’ll have your choice of participating in two of the four options!

  • Be There with

  • Community Assessment with

  • Mental Health for Posthumans with Future Ancestors

  • Effectively Engaging Decision Makers with Crestview


*See the Appendix below for workshop descriptions, and advance signup information. 

Collaborative Sessions


You shared, we listened. In your application to attend National Jack Summit, we asked about the biggest barrier to help-seeking in your community, and about the top issue you would like to tackle in your advocacy work and bring forward to a decision-maker. We took the most common answers and used them to construct six topic-based collaboration rooms that you’ll explore in your sessions on Saturday and Sunday:

  1. Lack of In-Person Human Connection + Community 
    We get it, the pandemic has created a very different world for us. One where it’s been increasingly difficult to feel connected, whether it be to our friends, loved ones, or our community. Physical distancing has sometimes led to social distancing and isolation. But this isn’t an issue just because of the pandemic, we were experiencing this before. And, we most definitely will after. Utilize this session to connect with one another, virtually of course, and unpack this topic.

  2. Mental Health in Schools: Academic Pressure, Lack of Mental Health Literacy + More 
    School-based mental health is an often under-discussed topic in society. The pressures young people face in a school setting are only rising. Not only is there insurmountable academic pressure, but there are also concerns about a serious lack of education around mental health challenges or illnesses. Grab your pencil and a notebook, and get ready to tackle school mental health in this session.


  3. Socio-Economic Concerns: Rise of Homelessness, Financial and Job Instability + More
    Mental health challenges don’t exist in a vacuum. There are so many factors that contribute to struggle, and some are often overlooked in society. The relationship between financial stress, job insecurity, homelessness, and mental health are deeply connected. Help us uncover how this plays out in communities across Canada, and what solutions might look like going forward.

  4. Lack of High-Quality Resources + Services 
    Wait times are often an immense barrier for those looking to reach out for help and support. And navigating the mental health care system, or seeking a resource or a service that is culturally relevant and sensitive can be incredibly daunting. And yet, we know there are some superb services out there. It’s just hard to find them. Connect with delegates across the country to see what this looks like in different regions, and help us bridge the gaps and connect the dots in this session.

  5. Stigma, Shame + Silence has always worked to break down barriers towards positive mental health – to get loud and raise awareness, and normalise the conversation surrounding mental health and mental illness. While there have been incredible strides made, we know that we are far from finished with this fight. Stigma, shame, and silence continue to permeate through communities across the country, and it is up to us to continue to lift the veil and get loud until everyone is equipped to talk about, and take care of, their mental health. This session will not be a silent one, but an opportunity to dive into the nuance of stigma.

  6. The Intersection of Mental Health + Social Justice Issues
    We need to speak up about the mental health implications of anti- Black and Indigenous racism, homo/transphobia, and other forms of discrimination plaguing our society. This topic room will be focused on unpacking this incredibly large (and important) conversation and funneling towards actionable next steps we all can take to push this critical work forward.

Over three collaboration sessions, Unbox, Unfold, and Unstoppable, you will have the opportunity to meet with other delegates from across Canada and dive into the topic of your choosing. Each session focuses in on a slightly different part of the brainstorming process:

Session A: Unbox (Saturday)


In this session, you will explore the chosen topic, learn from others within the room, and leave with a better understanding of how that specific topic intersects and/ or affects mental health in Canada, as well as a co-created definition of the topic that you will continue to reflect on during the remainder of the sessions. 


Session B: Unfold (Saturday)


This session is focused on revealing the path forward. You will be tasked with individual and group brainstorming about any and all possible solutions to the problems raised during Unbox. Utilizing some visual tools and working through the solutions together as a group, by the end of the session, your team will have a path forward with a few actionable and tangible ideas that can be discussed and workshopped in the final session.


Session C: Unstoppable (Sunday)


In our final collaborative session of the weekend, you will gather with your topic room one final time to begin action planning. Utilizing the co-created definition of your topic and collective expertise uncovered during Unbox, as well as the ideas and end goals discussed in Unfold, you will spend this session slowing down the action plan and focusing on the immediate: what can we accomplish tomorrow, next week, or next month? The goal isn’t to solve, but rather to create plans and next steps. Throughout this session, you will be joined by some of our Collaboration Consultants, adult allies and decision-makers who can help you workshop and refine your ideas.

Undivided: Decision Maker Panel (Sunday)


This panel is an opportunity to present your ideas, your solutions, and your action plans — all the work from the past three sessions – to a panel of decision-makers, representing different sectors and areas of interest and expertise. The work of our movement needs to include working and partnering with adult allies to move our mission forward. This is an opportunity to present your ideas and get feedback from experienced allies on how to move them forward. 


  • Thursday: Network Spotlight
    We have so much incredible wisdom, creativity, and expertise within our network, we decided to dedicate an entire panel to exploring this topic. Our Network Spotlight panel will showcase three members of the network who pushed forward with their advocacy efforts this year. It will be a chance to hear about the ups and downs of what they accomplished and what they learned along the way.

  • Friday: Global Mental Health Advocacy
    We are all dedicated to transforming the mental health landscape across Canada, but there is so much for us to learn from abroad. welcomes three incredible global mental health advocates to join us for this panel to explore the unique nuances that exist in their community, along with the shared experiences and commonalities they’ve experienced. 

  • Sunday: Intersections, Social Determinants + Access to Care
    Moving beyond the mental health 101 and other foundational knowledge, our Sunday panel with adult allies will explore the many intersections that exist between mental health and other social justice issues, key health indicators, and what appropriate care looks like in practice. Our esteemed panelists will include:

Collab Sessions

Important considerations.


Safety remains a critical priority in all aspects of planning and delivering our National Summit program. We keep safety considerations top-of-mind, ensuring that anyone taking the virtual stage understands how we approach safe storytelling and shares our commitment to maintaining safety for all participants in the Summit. 

We are committed to providing access to the appropriate resources, in the event that a delegate finds themselves in need of mental health support at any point during the National Summit’s programming. Since and its staff are not service providers, we will be sharing a list of resources that you can access if you are looking to reach out for mental health support. You’ll also see us sharing messages throughout the Summit encouraging anyone who may be experiencing a hard time to reach out to our partners at Kids Help Phone for support.


In delivering our National Summit virtually, we are committed to ensuring all programming and sessions that delegates participate in are secure, and that all measures are taken to prevent virtual disruptions, such as Zoombombers. For this reason, we ask that you avoid using different logins or usernames when connecting to our Zoom sessions or Whova app, and also avoid sharing video conferencing links or login information in public forums.


Virtual Accessibility

We are dedicated to making sure that the Summit is an accessible and comfortable experience for all delegates, even when being delivered virtually. With this in mind, here are some accommodations we already have in place or have the ability to implement for any that require them:


  • There will be subtitles on videos wherever possible. 

  • We will mail physical booklets to any delegate who indicated they wished to have a physical resource to reference during their Summit experience. We will also make a digital version of this booklet available to all delegates who prefer to reference this resource on a computer, smartphone, or printed at home.

  • We are able to compensate delegates who incur data overages in tuning into our National Summit programming. Please hold on to receipts from your provider and submit after the Summit for reimbursement up to a maximum of $50. 


If there’s anything else that can be arranged to make the summit more accessible for you,

please do not hesitate to email us.

Important considerations


Workshop descriptions


Be There: Developing knowledge and confidence to support someone struggling with their mental health

After a year of dealing with COVID-19 in Canada, it’s clear that the pandemic has taken a toll on our mental health. Now more than ever, we need to be there for one another. But with online classes, lockdowns, and physical distancing, it’s easier said than done. This workshop will introduce you to the signs of mental health struggle and Be There’s 5 Golden Rules, a simple framework that can help you learn to better support your peers and loved ones through daily mental health challenges no matter what circumstances you find yourself in.

Community Assessment: Incorporating community priorities in our advocacy work

Understanding the goals and priorities of a community when doing mental health advocacy work is so important. In this workshop, we will break down the steps involved in collecting data for a community assessment, including identifying your target audience, deciding what kind of data to collect, and choosing a data collection method.

Mental Health for Posthumans with Future Ancestors

Future Ancestors is an Indigenous and Black-owned, youth-led professional services social enterprise climate justice and equity with lenses of anti-racism and ancestral accountability. Led by one of their knowledgeable facilitators, this workshop will explore intersectionality as it relates to mental health, and the wide-ranging issues that come into play when considering equity in our advocacy work. 

Effectively Engaging Decision Makers with Crestview

Crestview Strategy is a public affairs agency based in Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto, and Washington DC, that consults with companies, not-for-profits, and other industry associations to make, change, and mobilize opinion. With tons of experience with government relations, this workshop will dive into key insights for working with different stakeholders and decision makers, and give delegates a chance to practice some of these skills in real-time. 

Sign up information

In order to ensure we have a handle on which sessions delegates plan on attending, and prepare accordingly, we ask that you indicate your preferences around the following sessions in advance. 


Please follow this link to sign up ahead of time for:

  • the Regional Meetup that you plan on attending

  • your preferred Collaboration Session topic

  • your two top choices for Workshops

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