Joshua is very active within our community and is fighting every day to ensure that voices, especially youth voices, are heard and that real action is taken to improve everyone's lives. See below for some of the involvement and work that is being done now.
To view a list of all publications from Joshua, click here.
Mental health and youth mental health is a cause that has been close to Joshua's heart and one that he has committed himself to work on for life. After personal experiences with poor mental health, Joshua is now working to raise awareness around mental health disorders, mental health illnesses, and poor mental health in youth, as well as working to push our governments to do more to support the mental health of the next generation through providing the resources, supports, and care that is needed. If nothing is done now, think of the effects that will be felt tomorrow by so many people across our community and the country.
In September of 2021, with the help of the YMHM Canada, a Recommendation Report for a New Suicide Prevention Strategy for Hamilton was published. In addition to this report being published, it was also submitted to the Mayor of Hamilton, the Suicide Prevention Community Council of Hamilton, the Chief Medical Officer of Hamilton, and the Canadian Mental Health Association (Hamilton Branch). Joshua, along with all YMHM Canada members during its time of publication is proud to say that this report is being used to provide a youth perspective on suicide prevention in the City of Hamilton with the creation of a new plan for the city.
Joshua continued his work with suicide prevention and mental health with his work with the Canadian Mental Health Association (Hamilton Branch) and the Suicide Prevention Community Council of Hamilton by taking part in working on the Roots of Hope campaign from the Mental Health Commission of Canada. This initiative aims to bridge the gap between mental health services from youth care to adult care.
In August of 2022, Joshua opened an open letter to Minster Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions of Canada, to urge the implementation and continued support of a National 988 Suicide and Crisis Line. He continued to meet with MPs and policy advisors within the Minister's office to advocate from a youth perspective and someone with lived experience. It was later announced that a National 988 Suicide and Crisis Line will be introduced in November of 2023. While a number is set to be introduced, Joshua continues to meet with MPs, community leaders, and many more to continue to urge continued support and funding for a 988 number in Canada after its official implementation.
Joshua also continues his mental health work through advisory boards and other councils in Hamilton and on the national level that he is a member of.
In late 2022 and early 2023, he released the first of a yearly list of recommendation goals to the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario that he hopes will help set the tone for mental health in 2023 and the urgent need for action on issues relating to youth, suicide prevention, mental well-being, and much more. He hopes that these goals, created through a years (2022) previous of work and conversations in the mental health sector and with organizations, individuals, and more, will be goals that the government acts on in 2023 to better the mental health of Canadians everywhere.
In early 2020, Joshua started the Youth Mental Health March Canada (YMHM Canada) and through this community association, he works with the team to better raise awareness around youth mental health and push our governments to do more during a yearly event held in May on Youth Mental Health Day.
Being a member of the Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas Constituency Youth Council, Joshua works with other members of the council and with the Honourable Filomena Tassi, P.C., M.P. (Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario) to raise the voices of those in his community and to ensure that real change is delivered to improve their lives. Through the creation of policy through listening to those in the community, Joshua and all members of the council want to ensure that change is delivered to keep our community moving forward for all.
Joshua is also currently leading a team focused on mental and physical health within the Youth Council. Final policy papers and recommendations to the Minister are done on an ongoing basis.
For more on the council, follow @hwadcyc on Instagram and Twitter.
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The views expressed on this website and any social media account (@joshuamjbell) are those solely of Joshua Bell. The information on this website should not be taken as medical advice. If you are in a mental health crisis or need help, reach out and make that connection.
I acknowledge that I, in Hamilton and everywhere in Canada, am located on the traditional territories of many Indigenous Communities and that we all have a responsibility to learn more about the rich history and culture of Indigenous Communities and their People as we work toward full reconciliation.
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