The University of Winnipeg



New student-led summit breaking barriers on mental health

Breaking Barriers Summit on Mental Health


Students from three universities in Manitoba are joining forces to help challenge the stigma surrounding mental health.

Breaking Barriers Summit on Mental Health is an upcoming two-day conference being hosted at the University of Manitoba and The University of Winnipeg. The event will feature keynotes, breakout sessions focused on topics such as self-compassion and advocacy, and networking with community organizations.

The organizers — a group of students from the U of M, UWinnipeg, and Université de Saint-Boniface — hope the collaborative nature of the event will lead to an increased level of dialogue among community members.

“What we have seen in the past is each respective institution launching mental health awareness campaigns or events, which is great,” said Bryan Young, UWinnipeg student and co-executive director of the summit. “What we haven’t seen is a room full of students talking about what mental health is, what an advocate is, and how we can work together in the future to effectively reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. Instead of working as individuals, we want to encourage working as a community, so that together we can start conversations and create change in our province.”

Young, who also serves as a speaker for national mental health network, was partially inspired to found the summit by his own experiences as a young person dealing with mental illness.

“After my initial diagnosis, I remember feeling so alone, and I remember thinking that there was no one out there that understood how I was feeling,” said Young. “I found talking about how I was feeling helped, and what I soon realized was that the more I talked, the more I began to see I was not alone. … I work as an advocate because I believe no one should ever feel as alone as I did.”

Breaking Barriers Summit on Mental Health takes place March 10 – 11, 2017.

Event details:

Breaking Barriers Summit on Mental Health

Friday, March 10, 6:30 – 10:00 pm at the University of Manitoba
Saturday, March 11, 8:30 am – 4:45 pm at The University of Winnipeg

Tickets are $25, and are available here.

For more information, contact:

Bryan Young, Summit Executive Director (UWinnipeg) and Co-Chair of the Steering Committee