Consultation on the Youth Mental Health Fund – Opportunity for youth 16 and above

The Government of Canada is working to implement a new fund to make it easier for youth in Canada to get the mental health care they need. The Youth Mental Health Fund aims to break down barriers to access mental health care for youth.

They are consulting with people 16 years of age and older to gather perspectives on priority areas to improve youth mental health. Your feedback will help guide the focus of the new Youth Mental Health Fund, including decisions on the types of activities that could be funded.

Health Canada is seeking your input on the types of activities that could be funded through the Youth Mental Health Fund, such as helping youth and their families navigate and seek mental health care, increasing youth suicide prevention supports and services and more.

Share your ideas online by filling in filling in the following questionnaire: All responses are anonymous.

For more information, please check out Consultation on the Youth Mental Health Fund –

How to Enjoy Spending Time Outside Alone

Now that the weather is getting warmer, I see families at the park and people walking their dogs a lot. It makes me wonder if I would go outside more if I had a dog… Though I have a cat I’m sure I could put a leash on, I should probably come up with other ways to encourage being outside. 

I have been exploring activities to do outside that feel engaging to me. I know a walk is the easiest way to spend time outside and get exercise, but sometimes walking is boring or unfulfilling. I have found several different activities to do outside that can be engaging and fun. 

Here are five activities that helped me enjoy spending time outside: 

Journal in a Park 

If you enjoy writing or doodling, this is a great activity to keep you outside and engaged. I love doodling while listening to a podcast or music, or writing some wacky stories for fun. 

Watch the Sunset or Sunrise 

If it helps to go outside with something to do like buying groceries or running errands, try to find something to look forward to. If you want to see the sunset, try going outside just with enough time to go somewhere comfortable (like a park or a backyard) and experience that sunset or sunrise. 

Hike on a Trail 

If there are walking or biking paths near you, it can be fun to try changing up your environment for a walk. Sometimes you can find trails that feel like they’re not in the city. If you bring bird seeds with you, you might be able to feed some birds or chipmunks along the way! 

Have a Picnic 

Prepare or pick up something for a snack or lunch, bring a blanket or beach towel, and head to a nice park for a picnic. I like to cut up meat and cheese to pair with crackers and mustard. I like to bring a book, but I always end up listening to a podcast anyway. 

Paint in the Park 

One of my favourite activities to do right now is paint, so what better way to spend time outside than painting? A dollar store should have a mini canvas and a small paint kit, which you can easily pack in a purse, tote, or backpack and bring to a cool location. Last time I painted outside, I went to a park on the waterfront. 

Make a Mindfulness Box with Me!

A mindfulness box is a box, or anything you want to put stuff in, that includes items to help soothe you, calm you, or help you be mindful. I have been interested in making one since my therapist suggested I try making one last month. I love learning about new things I can try at home to practice mindfulness, so learning about the mindfulness box was so helpful! 

If you’re interested in making a mindfulness box, follow along as I share what I put in mine: 

Choose Your Box 

Pick what you want your mindfulness items to go in. This could be a portable cosmetics bag, a old shoe or amazon box, or a basket. I chose an old shoe box. Once you find something to put all your mindfulness items in, you’re ready to start! 

Self-Care Items 

I added a bottle of lotion, a foot mask, nail file, and a jade roller. These are some of the self-care items that soothe me the most. 

Stress Ball 

I of course had to add a stress ball because as much as I might feel silly squeezing a happy emoji face, it makes me feel grounded and regulated. I also like slime, silly putty, and colourful clay. 

Photos of Friends 

I added photos of my friends and my cat. I also included old doodles from notebooks that I thought were cool. This reminds me that I have people who care about me and who I care a lot about. 

Notebook and Pen 

I added both a notebook and sketchbook with pencils and pens. Sometimes I like to doodle or write words over and over which provides a distraction from worrying about little things. 

I hope talking through my mindfulness box helped spark some ideas about what you could put in yours! 

3 Apps that Will Help You Manage Your Stress

We struggle with stress every day, whether small stresses or big, it’s important for us to know how to manage our stress. Unfortunately, that can be really difficult to learn. 

What I found helped me learn how to manage my stress better was taking small steps. Instead of fully committing to a bunch of skills, I tried one. After trying boxed breathing a few times and seeing how it helped ground me, it became a habit. After weeks of not remembering to box breathe when I was stressed and failing to do it early enough to avoid further stress, I found myself immediately trying it without even thinking about it. It became a habit and I finally got the hang of it. 

If you are thinking about trying out some mindfulness exercises, cognitive behavioral therapy skills, or other stress management skills, I recommend trying one of these free apps: 


Download on the App Store or Google Play 

With really cool backgrounds and a range of meditations, Calm ( is a space to escape and relax in the comfort of your hands. This app is designed to keep you calm and it’s quite successful at it. 


Download on the App Store or Google Play 

Headspace ( is a comprehensive meditation app, with guided and unguided meditations to help you through all phases of your life. The free app offers ten sessions, with hundreds of hours of extra content if you love it and want to subscribe. 


Download on the App Store or Google Play 

Happify ( is all about positive psychology, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioral therapy. As the name suggests, Happify’s goal is to help us all feel happier, and more emotionally fulfilled. This is a great tool to keep in mind if you find yourself overwhelmed often and are struggling to feel emotional fulfilment. 

Try One of These 7 Relaxing Video Games for a Cozy Night in

For those of you in exam season, you may be studying a lot, feeling stressed, or maybe you’re finished exams and want to relax, but just aren’t sure what to do.  

I have some of the BEST relaxing games you can try when you want to have a chill and cozy night in. I enjoy playing games on a computer and a Nintendo Switch, so I have gone ahead and made a list of my favourite games on a Nintendo Switch, Windows, and Mac, so that you can try out some of the games that you may have a system for.   

My suggestion is to sign up for a Steam account and then watch the sales!  

My top PAID games:   

Stardew Valley (Windows, Mac, Nintendo Switch)  

$16.99 on Steam 

You’ve inherited your grandfather’s old farm plot in Stardew Valley. Armed with hand-me-down tools and a few coins, you set out to begin your new life. Can you learn to live off the land and turn these overgrown fields into a thriving home? 

Unpacking (Windows, Mac, Nintendo Switch) 

$22.79 on Steam 

Unpacking is a zen puzzle game about the familiar experience of pulling possessions out of boxes and fitting them into a new home. Part block-fitting puzzle, part home decoration, you are invited to create a satisfying living space while learning clues about the life you’re unpacking. 

My top FREE games: 

The Sims 4 (Windows) 

Free on Steam 

Play with life and discover the possibilities. Unleash your imagination and create a world of Sims that’s wholly unique. Explore and customize every detail from Sims to homes–and much more. 

Equinoxe (Windows) 

Free on Steam 

Equinoxe is a contemplative & narrative game with puzzle phases taking place in two mirrored worlds. Discover a quest for self-acceptance and restore the fragile balance of your world by using its main source of energy: water. 

Fayburrow (Windows) 

Free on Steam 

In a world of fairies, a childhood friend suddenly calls Beatrice back to her old hometown. Yet when she arrives, her friend is mysteriously missing. 

LAY (Windows) 

Free on Steam 

Immerse yourself in this adventure of poetic and contemplative exploration as Elise, a young explorer full of energy. This mysterious world awaits you to overflow with colour and life! 

Kinoko (Windows) 

Free on Steam 

The crisp winter air fills your lungs, but you can feel the earth underneath calling for you. The warmth from the sun melts the snow away and flowers bloom. Spring is here. 

BONUS Mobile Game: If you have a Netflix subscription, you can download Terra Nil on your phone for free. 

Terra Nil is an intricate environmental strategy game about transforming a barren wasteland into a thriving, balanced ecosystem. Bring life back to a lifeless world by purifying soil, cleaning oceans, planting trees, and reintroducing wildlife, then leave without a trace. 

Free on the App Store and Google Play Store. 

I would recommend giving the games above a try if you like relaxing activities that can be quite entertaining for an evening. I personally play Stardew Valley often and my friend and I have made it to fall of year 2 (I don’t even want to tell you how many hours I have played this game for). I hope this list helps for those of you that enjoy cozy video games.

5 Ways You Can Practice Mindfulness Today

I have been learning about mindfulness for my own benefit for just over five years now. It has taken me a LONG time to put these skills into practice so believe me when I tell you I also thought it was silly to try breathing exercises when I was angry or trying to think logically when I was sad. It feels silly but remember that silly can sometimes work! 

What is Mindfulness? 

Mindfulness is being present in the moment and focusing your thoughts on what is happening in the here and now. 

Why Should we Practice Mindfulness? 

Some benefits include reducing anxiety, depression, chronic pain, stress, and mindfulness can even help improve sleep. It’s very hard to be mindful with many distractions, and sometimes we even forget to check in on ourselves. Once we break out of feeling guilty for slowing down and being mindful, it gets easier and more comfortable to take pauses. 

5 Ways to Practice Mindfulness: 

  1. Check in on Your Body

Take a pause and think about how you’re feeling physically. Do you notice tension? Where is it coming from? If you bring your attention to your body, it can help bring you back to the present and connect with the information you’re observing about your body so that you can take better care of yourself. 

  1. Use Your Five Senses

Start using all your senses to observe what is going on around you. This can also be called grounding. Start to describe what smells are around you, the noises, and even touch an object near you and describe what it feels like. 

  1. Focus on Your Breathing

You breathe with or without consciously thinking about it. Start to notice your breathing. Take five deep breaths and focus your attention on inhaling and exhaling. Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 5, breathe out for 4, hold for 5. Do this boxed breathing activity to help bring yourself to the present. 

  1. Observe and Describe Your Thoughts

As scary as it may feel, take a pause and start to notice your thoughts. What do you notice? Sometimes our brains are running a mile a minute and it’s important to slow it down when we can.  

  1. Mindful Eating

When you eat your meals, you could try to just eat. Try not to watch YouTube, work, or read. Try to be present and focused on eating. Notice your chewing, the sensations, or the taste. Try to describe what the food tastes like. 

Give Yourself an Energy Boost with a 5 Minute Yoga Routine

It’s hard to find energy when the days are short and the weather can be so cold. If you find yourself in need of an energy boost, sometimes doing the opposite of our negative thoughts can help us feel better. If you don’t have a lot of energy, but want to feel a little boost, try a short 5 minute yoga routine. As daunting as it might feel, you might find you’re able to take on the rest of the day with a little more energy.

Yoga with Uliana has a great 5 minute yoga routine to give you a boost!

Canada-wide Mental Health Supports for Youth and Adults

This season is proving to be a mixture of winter storms and spring weather. With the lack of daylight, gloomy weather, and harsh cold keeping us inside some days, it can be a difficult time for a lot of people. This time of year can be quite stressful, so it is important that we take care of ourselves and are able to smoothly access resources and supports.

You can benefit from mental help resources and accessing counseling services not only during times of intense emotions, but for just about anything. Counselling can be great for stress, time management, and daily emotion regulation.

If you or someone you know if going through a lot and may need some additional resources and support, visit for Canada-wide mental health resources.

Additional Supports:

Visit Wellness Together Canada to access different levels of support including:

  • One-on-one counselling
  • Credible articles and information
  • Self-guided courses and programs
  • Peer support and coaching

To connect with a mental health professional one-on-one at Wellness Together Canada:

Call 1-888-668-6810 or text WELLNESS to 686868 for youth.

Call 1-866-585-0445 or text WELLNESS to 741741 for adults.

Crisis Lines:

Call Talk Suicide Canada at 1-833-456-4566. Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Quebec residents can call 1-866-277-3553 or visit

Visit Talk Suicide Canada for the distress centres and crisis organizations near you.

For Children and Youth:

Visit the Kids Help Phone website for online chat support and to access further resources.

Call Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free) or text CONNECT to 686868. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to Canadians aged 5 to 29.  

For First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Peoples:

Call Hope for Wellness at 1-855-242-3310 (toll-free) or visit the website to access an online chat. Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Peoples seeking emotional support, crisis intervention, or referrals to community-based services.

Support is available in English and French and, by request, in Cree, Ojibway, and Inuktitut.

Fostering Community has a variety of resources and information about mental health, so check out our mental health channel for more.

Make Time for Self-Care with #bytelearning

Learning bytes are short courses, typically no more than 6 minutes, that are designed to be easy to digest. You can search Rumie’s library for the topics you would like to learn, then choose a course and start learning!

This week’s #bytelearning follows the theme #mentalhealth. Take a look at the following learning bytes to learn how to incorporate self-care practices into your schedule:

How Does My Body React to Emotions teaches you where the activation points are on your body and mindfulness strategies about checking in on yourself. 

How do I Avoid “Sunday Scaries”? This learning byte shares tips on how to combat this which includes taking care of your mental health, physical wellbeing, and creating a plan.

How Does My Body Respond to Stress gives you a crash course on the nervous system and spreads awareness about some of the physical and mental effects of stress on your body.

Rumie Initiative is technology company, a nonprofit organization, and a Canadian registered Charity. Check out the website here.

“We fill the gap between what you learned at school and what it takes to succeed by building the habit of lifelong learning.” – Rumie Initiative.