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Validity Project Program & Resources

Hear Me, Understand Me, Support Me: What Young Women Want You to Know about Depression explores the diverse challenges that young women experience in relation to depression; prevention strategies; healthy helping relationships; the dos and don’ts of working with young women; and referrals and resources that can provide more information. The intent of this guide is to focus on girls’ and young women’s voices, and to help you continue your work with them by providing tools and information that validate their voices, and the choices and challenges they face. Sponsored by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), this project offers insights based on the experiences of over 200 young women, ranging in age from early adolescence to young adulthood, residing across Ontario. Along with a team of professional supporters, we have throughout the process consciously used the lens of diverse young women’s perspectives to focus on one of the key issues of our time.

The resource is organized according to the challenges the young women identified. These challenges include: stigma, relationships, recognizing depression, family communication, cultural expectation and racism. Each challenge has three distinct sections: “Hear Me,” “Understand Me” and “Support Me.” The “Hear Me” section provides quotes from young women describing their feelings and perspectives. The “Understand Me” section offers insight and information gathered from CAMH members of the VALIDITY team, clinicians and researchers related to the respective topics. The “Support Me” section gives tips, strategies and resources to help young women.

Hear Me, Understand Me, Support Me: What Young Women Want You to Know about Depression has been distributed to service providers internationally and is being used by people who work with young women in different capacities.

Available for download in English and French for free at http://www.camh.net/validity.

Let’s Talk: I’m More than What You See poster is the culmination of two years of inspiring work with young women and professionals. Young women have said, “we don’t want to be treated, we want to be heard.” The VALIDITY♀ (Vibrant Action Looking Into Depression in Today’s Young Women) team listened, and in collaboration with young women, set to work on developing a poster aimed at service providers working with young women.

The purpose of the poster is to:

  • Encourage girls/young women and service providers to consider their/girls' health from a holistic standpoint.
  • Raise awareness with service providers about the fact that various factors (including the social determinants of health) impact young women's well-being.
  • Encourage service providers to ask about and listen to girls/young women talk about various aspects of their lives that might be impacting their health.
  • Encourage young women to talk to service providers about what's going on in their lives.

The poster is available in two sizes for free; both in English and French. Visit http://www.camh.net/validity for more details.

Aboriginal Version of the Let’s Talk Poster Research Initiative has been a success since it’s launch in 2008 in encouraging conversation between health care providers and young women across Canada. The poster focuses on the social determinants of young women’s health, communicating the message that young women need to be treated as a whole person, not just the presenting issue. Young women were involved with developing the poster, from choosing the language, colours and photos, along with participating in the launch in 2008.

Visit http://www.camh.net/validity for more details.

Contact Details for More Information

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Main switchboard: (416) 535-8501
http://www.camh.net

The Validity Project website on the CAMH website includes resources, conferences and coming events at http://www.camh.net/Publications/Resources_for_Professionals/Validity/.

For more information about the VALIDITY project or any of the resources highlighted in OHPE feature article 630, please contact Cathy Thompson, Project Lead (CAMH) at [email protected] or visit our website at http://www.camh.net/validity.