Two chairs promoting empathy, compassion and resiliency have found a new home at OUTLoud North Bay’s youth hub.
The Canadian Mental Health Association, North Bay and District, used the turquoise Muskoka-style “listening chairs” during Mental Health Week 2022 in May to promote this year’s theme of #empathy. The chairs were set up at various community events.
“This initiative created a safe space for people to come and share what was on their mind with someone who was there to listen without judgement,” said CMHA North Bay and District CEO Mary Davis. “Community members were also invited to decorate the two chairs with positive words and images.”
Among the messages that people shared:
“Try, try, and try again.”
“We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.”
– Bob Ross [painter and TV host]
“I got your BACK!”
Now the chairs have found a permanent home at OUTLoud North Bay, an organization that supports the health and wellbeing of 2SLGBTQA+ youth and allies.
“OUTLoud seems like the perfect place for them,” added Davis. “And after the recent disturbing instances of hateful online attacks and acts of vandalism, messages of compassion and understanding are more necessary than ever.”
“We are truly grateful for the partnerships in our community,” said Seth Compton, OUTLoud’s executive director. “We are excited to add these chairs to our space. It’s great to see messages of hope, especially after everything that has happened. These messages will be a light for the kids.”
OUTLoud North Bay was a member of the CMHA Mental Health Week 2022 organizing committee and hosted a Wellness Day information fair that highlighted youth mental health services available in this area.