The 3 Es of Youth Mental Health Education,

Here is a picture of my brother 18 years old and me 15, at a time in our lives that our mental health started to decline to crisis levels.  One of the most important things in my work and life is to support youth mental health, wellness, and addiction education.  This blog post is an introduction to some of the work I’m doing and how we can develop better ways of providing youth with tools to support their wellness and mental health.

My brother 18 years old and me 15 years old when our mental health started to seriously deteriorate

Youth Mental Health Education needs to be a top priority of our education systems. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.  The education system is obsessed with standardized tests and traditional subjects such as math, science and English.  I’m not saying they’re not important, what I’m saying is nothing should take a back seat to the importance of personal wellness and mental health.

Suicide is the #1 cause of death in the “developed” world (outside of car accidents) for people between the ages of 15-24. Our response to this crisis is terribly inefficient. It’s important to acknowledge that up to this point, educators, politicians and mental health organizations haven’t had the knowledge or experience to address this crisis. I’d argue that now we do.

How can we invigorate youth mental health education? Awareness is important, but it’s time to develop platforms for young people to internalize what all this “mental health awareness talk” means.

Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence are the most important tool we can give to young people to support their wellness, resilience, quality of life and ability to navigate a challenging time in their life. Thankfully mindfulness and emotional intelligence is gaining support among western scientific and intellectual communities. I’d like to develop a community to discuss, share, and help the people involved who are passionate about helping youth benefit from a better system of education, empowerment, and engagement. The 3Es!

Please share your thoughts, ideas, experiences, and comments.


  1. Out of all the Social Workers, Doctors, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and the whack-load of chemical intervention I was put on to try and ‘tame’ my suicidal thoughts, depression, and manic outbursts, one two-hour Mindfulness session at UofT did more for me than any of it. I am so glad that you are doing the work you are doing Mike. There was not much help for us back then, and I am happy to see that change. Keep up the great work.

    1. Thanks for this insight. It’s amazing what mindfulness and meditative practices can do for us. Those were definitely foreign ideas/words for us when we were younger. Are you still practicing any mindfulness stuff? That’s great to hear about your experience with it and an important one for the health care community to know. I wish you all the best Ryan. Thanks for connecting.

  2. Well done – you are on the cutting edge of intervention for mental health. I’ve been practising mindfulness for more than a decade and am now completely off medication. Keep up the good work.

    1. Thx so much! It’s inspiring to hear about your experience with mindfulness and recovery. Thx for sharing your thoughts and reading this post. The more people like you that show the rest of us what’s possible, the closer we all come to improving our care and recovery models.

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