Just last week I was given a flight to Toronto with Platinum VIP front row seats to a sold out Tony Robbins conference of 9000 people. I was put up in a beautiful hotel and I even met Tony Robbins himself. I was so moved by his heart to help people.
He reminded me of my WHY again.
The morning before I flew back home I got to meet the man who changed my life over a coffee at Tim Hortons. This man invested in me as a young awkward teen. He modelled what a life of compassion looks like. He took me on walks in back alleys of Young Street, Toronto where he knew the first names of drug dealers and those experiencing homelessness. He still does this to this day.
Talking to him over coffee reminded me of my WHY.
I remember starting a hip hop studio in the heart of East Vancouver where gang members, druggies, drug dealers, strippers, and youth at risk all came to learn dance. It was more than just about teaching dance, it was about offering these young ones HOPE.
Reflecting on that reminds me of my WHY.
Today, I wake up in the morning wanting to end the mental health crisis our youth are facing. The interesting thing is that the places I used to teach with gangs and drug dealers are now full of youth with monotone faces filled with anxiety and depression. It doesn’t matter if I’m working in a school in the ghetto or a high affluent rich private school – anxiety and depression are experienced the SAME, just for different reasons.
It’s still about offering the hidden ones HOPE. The ones who come from nothing, and the ones who have everything. Both need hope just the same. Our mental health crisis has levelled the field. It’s doesn’t matter now how much education or money you have, or what kind of upbringing, mental illness is no respecter of persons. There are sobering stats:
55% of young people who visit the hospital do so because of mental health related concerns. I’m not sure if we understand that. In order for a young person to visit the hospital for a mental health concern means they are contemplating suicide. 55%!! That’s more than broken bones.
Only 20% of those who visit the hospital are getting the care they need because our mental health care system is overtaxed.
Canada, the country I live in, has been rated only #25 in the world for child safety, meaning mental, emotional, physical and sexual safety. NUMBER 25. You know what that tells me? It tells me there’s a whole lot of brokenness that goes on behind our beautiful homes and nice cars that NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT.
I’m calling all hands on deck
I’m calling you and I to the arena. I’m asking us to join hands to say ENOUGH to what mental health concerns are doing to our families and young people.
Mental HEALTH is created SOCIALLY.
You and I coming together to do something tangible. This week it’s my 45th birthday and I’m doing some things I’m super excited about.
First, I’m giving stuff away on my instagram all week! Things that will bring you hope! Follow me there for your chance to win. My insta is @conniejakab
Second, I’m inviting you to invest in this vision. I’ve started a campaign called “The First $10,000“. I’m going big, but even $10,000 barely scratches the surface to the need. I have a BIG DREAM to be able to provide solutions to people who can’t afford help all over Canada. To fly to Nunavut, where they are experiencing a crisis of suicide among their youth, it costs $4000 alone. To produce one of our conferences on Bell Let’s Talk day that brings mental health care professionals, non profit leaders, educators, students, business owners together to the table to talk solutions costs $10,000. Schools call me all the time needing our help but can’t afford it. The need is great.
$10,000 isn’t enough, but it’s a start, and I love taking something, stewarding it well and multiplying it. I want you to join me in making a difference whether it be $20 to the whole Ten Grand. You see, that’s what it’s going to take, EVERYONE doing their part.
You can make a contribution by clicking here. I am also looking for investors who want to invest in this vision for a year of a strategic plan I have. Tax receipts can be given. If that’s you please contact me here.
Friends, there is more hope than there is hopelessness. We just need to remember that again. Society’s issues are only there because you and I allow them to be. My WHY has never been more strong.
Let’s see this generation rise above. We CAN see it happen.