The Celebration Comes Just as Over 8,000 People Complete the Be There Certificate, a Free Online Course For Peer-to-Peer Mental Health Support
Toronto, Ontario (August 8, 2022) – Jack.org and Born This Way Foundation met in Toronto to celebrate the Be There Certificate’s positive impact on youth mental health since its launch in early March of this year. The meeting brought together staff and youth from both organizations, including a pledge from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America to support the Be There Certificate and promotion of the certificate at Lady Gaga’s Chromatica Ball Summer Stadium tour stop in Toronto.
The Be There Certificate is a free, self-paced, interactive online mental health course designed to increase mental health literacy and provide youth with the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to safely support anyone who may be struggling with their mental health. Since its launch, over 8,000 people have completed the Be There Certificate, available globally in English, French, and Spanish.
Jack.org, a Canadian charity supporting education and action for youth mental health, and Born This Way Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting youth mental health and working with young people to build a kinder, braver world, collaborated to create the Be There Certificate. The goal of the Be There Certificate is to connect young people with a simple, actionable framework, teaching them how to recognize when someone might be struggling, understand their role in supporting that person, and learn how to connect that person to the help they need and deserve.
“Young people want to be there for their own and their peers’ mental health. Through the Be There Certificate, we have an opportunity to connect young people with free, accessible mental health resources and the tools to support themselves and each other,” said Cynthia Germanotta, Co-Founder and President of Born This Way Foundation. “The Be There Certificate provides a unique opportunity to encourage comprehensive, inclusive, and kind mental health support.”
As an example of the Be There Certificate’s ongoing success, the preeminent youth mentorship organizations, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, are partnering with Jack.org and Born This Way Foundation to introduce the Be There Certificate to more than 10,000 people throughout their networks and are pledging their local agencies to complete the certificate.
“Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada proudly supports the Be There Certificate. We know that young people need access to a web of supportive individuals who are prepared and ready to support their unique needs, like facing mental health adversities. That’s why we commit to challenging our Big Brothers Big Sisters colleagues across Canada to earn their Be There Certificate,” said W. Matthew Chater, President and CEO of Brothers Big Sisters of Canada.
“Big Brothers Big Sisters is the leading organization championing mentorship experiences for young people across the country and the right leader to help provide youth with the relationship supports to address the mental health crisis in our nation,” said Julie Novak, Chief Youth Protection Officer, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. “Our commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) is an integral part of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ values and mission. We strive to empower the full potential that is within all of us by ensuring that all voices and perspectives are heard, honored and supported. We are proud to partner with Jack.org and Born This Way Foundation to bring the Be There Certificate program to our network.”
Throughout their collaboration, Jack.org and Born This Way Foundation have fostered a close working relationship with one goal: to uplift youth and connect them to the help they need. Following a survey, those who have taken the course have said that the Be There Certificate “was an easy-to-use, straightforward and interactive way to further strengthen the ways I can be there for my loved ones” and 98% of learners feel better able to safely support someone who is struggling with their mental health.
“We are thrilled to see the growing momentum around the Be There Certificate. Five short months from launch and already thousands of people are better equipped to support their young peers, friends, and loved ones experiencing mental health struggles. We’re proud to be working with these outstanding partners to rapidly spread awareness and uptake of this freely accessible and engaging resource across Canada, the US, and beyond,” said Shane Green, VP Programs at Jack.org.
To learn how to pledge with your organization, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the Be There Certificate, visit BeThereCertificate.org.
The Be There Certificate is funded in part by RBC Future Launch and other generous partners who supported the development of the Be There program through their partnership with Jack.org.