The 2022 Talent Fair and Community Potluck was a fantastic event that was actually inspired by our participation in the Montreal session of mindyourmind’s Design Lab workshop. There, we shared our own personal experiences with mental health, creating a healing space within our own workshop circle. We then turned our focus outwards, brainstorming ways we could bring the same energy to other people in our local communities. First, we focused on the identification of vulnerable communities – ie. which groups of people did we see around us struggling the most? Once we identified key groups such as university students, immigrants and refugees, we then thought “what’s the best way to reach them?”. Through this process, we created a tool called The Wellness Deck – a resource that offers users helpful information, reminders, and affirmations in the form of a deck of cards; something that is accessible and super easy for people to use.
The Talent Fair and Community Potluck was an extension of the work we did in the Design Lab; we had already created this amazing tool and now it was time to share it! Over many weeks, I and 3 other awesome people (Valeria, Andre and Louis) worked to plan and host this event with the goal of connecting people from different walks of life over shared interests in mental wellness.
On July 27th at The Refugee Centre (Montreal, QC) we invited 20 participants to practice self care by openly discussing/de-stigmatizing their mental health struggles, distributing our Wellness Deck cards, and last but certainly not least, having fun together! We talked, shared, played games and connected over some great food (thanks Dany’s Pizza and 3 Amigos). We then invited participants to join a Facebook group, to ensure that people could continue connecting and spreading positivity beyond the event. I had so, so much fun participating in every step and am so excited for people to begin incorporating our Wellness Cards into their mental health journey!